AG Hood: Churchgoing public was 'duped' into supporting HB1523 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

AG Hood: Churchgoing public was 'duped' into supporting HB1523

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

After a federal judge's decision to strike down Mississippi's controversial Religious Accommodations Act, Attorney General Jim Hood is taking the opportunity to blast those who passed it in the first place. 

"I can't pick my clients, but I can speak for myself as a named defendant in this lawsuit," Hood said in a statement Friday. "The fact is that the churchgoing public was duped into believing that HB1523 protected religious freedoms. Our state leaders attempted to mislead pastors into believing that if this bill were not passed, they would have to preside over gay wedding ceremonies. No court case has ever said a pastor did not have discretion to refuse to marry any couple for any reason.  I hate to see politicians continue to prey on people who pray, go to church, follow the law and help their fellow man."

Hood explained that in 2014, the state enacted the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, which created a right of citizens to sue the state in state court if they felt that their religious freedoms were being overburdened. He said the federal court pointed out that that act was already in law when HB 1523 was passed, in what Hood called "an overtly political fashion."
 
Hood said the judge's decision to strike down the Religious Accommodations Act is "straightforward and clear." And while he believes there will be a case in the future in which the U.S. Supreme Court will better define our religious rights, this case is not it. 

"On page 9, the court quotes statements made by legislators, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The court found that those statements, along with the inclusion of the term "sincerely held religious beliefs" and the definition thereof in HB 1523, were strong evidence that the law was unconstitutional," Hood explained. 

Hood said his attorneys will evaluate the decision to determine whether or not to appeal all or parts of Thursday’s ruling. He did promise to appeal the Court's decision earlier in the week to extend the injunction to cover circuit clerks, who were never parties to the case.

"In consideration of the individual rights of all our citizens, the state's current budget crisis and the cost of appeal, I will have to think long and hard about spending taxpayer money to appeal the case against me," Hood said. "An appeal could cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, North Carolina has set aside $500,000 for defense of its bathroom law. Even if we won and the injunction were set aside on appeal, the case would be remanded and proceed to trial over about two years. Because of the huge tax breaks handed out to big corporations by these same leaders, the state is throwing mentally ill patients out on the street. This is hardly protecting the least among us as Jesus directed."

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

  • AG Hood: Churchgoing public was 'duped' into supporting HB1523More>>

  • BREAKING

    Judge blocks HB 1523 from starting July 1

    Judge blocks HB 1523 from starting July 1

    Friday, July 1 2016 9:29 AM EDT2016-07-01 13:29:56 GMT

    A U.S. district judge has issued a ruling striking down Mississippi's Religious Accommodations Act. Judge Carlton Reeves issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the controversial law from going into effect July 1.

    More >>

    A U.S. district judge has issued a ruling striking down Mississippi's Religious Accommodations Act. Judge Carlton Reeves issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the controversial law from going into effect July 1.

    More >>
  • NEWSMore>>

  • WLOX Investigation: Retired Gulfport Firefighter raises concerns over morale in the Department

    WLOX Investigation: Retired Gulfport Firefighter raises concerns over morale in the Department

    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-06-22 02:47:02 GMT
    That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)
    That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Gulfport's Mayor and Chief Administrator say Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt has their full confidence, and they've closed the book on an altercation two months ago between the chief and a firefighter. Now, a recently retired firefighter who says he witnessed the altercation has come forward not only to share his perspective of the incident but also on what he calls a serious need to hire more firefighters.

    More >>

    Gulfport's Mayor and Chief Administrator say Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt has their full confidence, and they've closed the book on an altercation two months ago between the chief and a firefighter. Now, a recently retired firefighter who says he witnessed the altercation has come forward not only to share his perspective of the incident but also on what he calls a serious need to hire more firefighters.

    More >>
  • Car ends up in ditch after short chase in Gulfport

    VIDEO: Car ends in ditch after short chase in Gulfport

    VIDEO: Car ends in ditch after short chase in Gulfport

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:35 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:35:50 GMT
    A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. (Photo source: WLOX)A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. 

    More >>

    A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. 

    More >>
  • Preparations for 'Scrapin' The Coast' continue

    Preparations for 'Scrapin' The Coast' continue

    Thursday, June 21 2018 8:33 PM EDT2018-06-22 00:33:26 GMT

    Scrapin The Coast is almost here, and everyone's getting ready for a weekend full of cool cars, live events, and fun in the sun. 

    More >>

    Scrapin The Coast is almost here, and everyone's getting ready for a weekend full of cool cars, live events, and fun in the sun. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly