Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Justices won't step into MS gay rights legal fight

Supreme Court Rejects Cases Challenging Law LGBT Groups Call 'Worst in the Nation' Justices won't step into MS gay rights legal fight
Faye Gross | 09 January, 2018, 00:31

Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 1523 into law in 2016, but because of various legal challenges, it didn't go into effect until October 2017.

The US Supreme Court yesterday left intact a MS law that lets businesses and government workers refuse to provide services to gay and transgender people on religious grounds.

"Choice can't be allowed to cross boundaries of law but confines of law can't trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under article 21 of constitution".

People who are refused service once the law is in place may be more likely to be judged to have legal standing to sue.

It is the "worst" law in the nation, according to some LGBT groups, who were hoping the Supreme Court would strike it down.

Supporters call it a religious liberty law that protects the sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals and businesses.

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The Alliance Defending Freedom assisted MS in its defense of the law.

"Good laws like Mississippi's protect freedom and harm no one", said Kevin Theriot of Alliance Defending Freedom.

The law specifically protects three beliefs: that marriage is only between a man and a woman, that sex should only occur in such a marriage and that a person's gender is determined at birth and can not be altered. "Because of that, we are pleased that the Supreme Court declined to take up these baseless challenges, which misrepresented the law's sole goal of ensuring that Mississippians don't live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union".

Among other things, the measure lets businesses refuse to provide marriage-related services to same-sex couples and allows judges, magistrates and justices of the peace to refuse to perform same-sex weddings. The 5th Circuit overturned that ruling.

In addition to the advocacy and discussion that followed that setback, subsequent rulings in favor of transgender equality and, most recently, establishing privacy as a fundamental right have help set the stage for the Court to revisit the law.

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