LGBT advocacy group challenges HB 1523 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

LGBT advocacy group challenges HB 1523

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

The Campaign for Southern Equality has renewed calls to put an end to House Bill 1523, the Religious Accommodations Act. The organization filed papers Friday with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the law and Gov. Phil Bryant.

They say the house bill, signed last spring, is extremely anti-LGBT and claim it violates First Amendment rights by giving businesses, public employees, and service providers the right to refuse services or goods to individuals based on their religious beliefs.

“While the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to freely practice their religion, no government can establish a religion or officially endorse certain controversial religious views over others,” said Roberta Kaplan, lead counsel representing the CSE.

Just moments before it was supposed to take effect, a U.S. district judge halted the bill, saying it did not "respect the equal dignity of all of Mississippi's citizens." Bryant has appealed the decision.

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