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Judge Blocks Mississippi Law Protecting Religious Objections To Gay Marriage

Almost at the last minute, a federal judge has declared a controversial Mississippi law unconstitutional.

The law, HB 1523, would have protected religious objections to gay marriage, extramarital sex and transgender identities. The judge says it favors some religious beliefs over others and would codify unequal treatment of LGBT people.

The Rev. Chris Donald, a Methodist chaplain at Millsaps College, joins other human rights advocates Wednesday at the state Capitol’s rotunda, calling for the Mississippi Senate to defeat what they believe is a discriminatory anti-LGBT bill. The Senate passed the bill, which is now on the governor’s desk.

The state’s governor has said he looks forward to an appeal, but Mississippi’s attorney general has expressed hesitation over appealing the case.

As the Two-Way has previously reported, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” was described by its proponents as a religious freedom bill. But it didn’t protect all religious beliefs. Here’s Section 2 of the bill:

“The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:
“(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;
“(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
“(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”

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