Attorney general decides not to appeal HB 1523 injunction

Attorney general decides not to appeal HB 1523 injunction

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Almost two weeks after a federal judge blocked House Bill 1523, which would've allowed private businesses to refuse service to the LGBT community based off of religious background and beliefs, Attorney General Jim Hood has decided not to appeal the injunction.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Hood said in part,

"Moreover, the Mississippi Legislature has already passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which protects a person's right to exercise his or her religious beliefs. HB 1523's critics and supporters also recognize that HB 1523 cannot overturn or preempt federal law. As acknowledged by our Governor, HB 1523 is not a defense to a federal lawsuit.

Gov. Phil Bryant originally signed the bill, also known as the Religious Accommodations Act, on April 5, and has already appealed the federal court's ruling.

"I'm obviously disappointed Hood has abandoned his duty to defend the constitutionality of a duly enacted statute," said Bryant.

The governor says his appeal is about protecting religious liberty, and he believes Hood's decision is politically motivated.

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