Human Rights Campaign pushes for repeal of Religious Accommodations Act

Human Rights Campaign pushes for repeal of Religious Accommodations Act

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Unless a federal judge intervenes, House Bill 1523 will go into effect Friday. The Human Rights Campaign is pushing to repeal the law. The HRC, which consists of members of the LGBT community, took its fight to the state capital Wednesday.

"The bill will still be going into effect Friday despite Judge Reeves' ruling, and the fight does not stop with marriage licenses. HB 1523 is a bill rooted in hate," said HRC Mississippi State Director Rob Hill.

HRC leaders and other civil rights organizations took to the state's capitol with one goal; repealing House Bill 1523, also known as the Religious Accommodations Act.

Though U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a permanent injunction barring the Magnolia State from denying marriage licenses to same sex couples, the HRC said the bill would still allow discrimination.

"It allows almost any individual and organization to discriminate against LGBTQ Mississippians at work, at school and in their communities. It is an insidious bill that would make LGBTQ Mississippians second class citizens," said Hill.

Following Reeves' ruling Monday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statement saying the state would appeal any opinion that opposes House Bill 1523.

"We don't want hate in our state. HB 1523 is hate with the power of law behind it," said Hill.

Hill said House Bill 1523 has already negatively impacted Mississippi's economy.

"We have joined by the voices of GE, the Dow Chemical Company, Pepsi Cola, Hewlett Packard and local businesses like Nissan, Toyota and Ingalls Shipbuilding," Hill added.

He said those businesses have signed the HRC's equality is our business pledge, which allows businesses to show that equality and nondiscrimination are important parts of their business models.

House Bill 1523 is set to take effect Friday. A federal judge has still not ruled on two legal challenges to the bill.

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