US District Judge blocks anti-LGBT 'religious freedom' law of Mississippi
U. S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves has issued a bill by the Mississippi legislature that sought to allow private citizens and some public officials professing a "sincere religious belief" to refuse service to gay and lesbian people.
Reeves issued an injunction blocking the bill, which is seen as a discriminatory against LGBT people, on Thursday night. The House Bill 1523 was to take effect at midnight, but the injunction would prevent it from being implemented. The bill is seen as a the most bold step by any state against the U. S. Supreme Court's 2015 decision to legalize gay marriage
Reeves wrote, citing precedent, "The State has put its thumb on the scale to favour some religious beliefs over others. Showing such favour tells 'nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and adherents that they are insiders, favoured members of the political community.' And the Equal Protection Clause is violated by HB 1523's authorization of arbitrary discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender, and unmarried persons. The plaintiffs' motions are granted and HB 1523 is preliminarily enjoined."
The judge had earlier prevented circuit clerks from denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The preliminary injunction on the new bill will remain until any appeals are completed and if it is upheld, it will be filed as permanent injunctions.