JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Mississippi have filed a lawsuit challenging HB 1523. The Religious Liberty Accommodation law allows public officials and businesses to refuse service to individuals based on religious beliefs.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas, a gay couple who are engaged to be married. The couple describes HB 1523 as "as slap in the face."
"When HB 1523 passed, it was heartbreaking because it takes away our chance to finally be treated equally," the couple said in a news release from the ACLU. "At a time when we're supposed to be excited as a couple engaged to be married, this law permits discrimination against us simply because of who we are. This is not the Mississippi we're proud to call home. We're hopeful others will come to realize this and not allow this harmful measure to become law."
According to the ACLU, this lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of HB 1523:
The ACLU said HB 1523 does not just authorize discrimination against same-sex couple. It also allows discrimination against transgender people and anyone who has sex outside of heterosexual marriage.