Mississippi’s Governor, Phil Bryant on Tuesday signed a law allowing businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people if providing those services would violate a sincerely-held religious or moral belief.
It also allows businesses to deny wedding services to same-sex couples on religious grounds and permits employers to cite principles of faith in setting workplace policies on dress code, grooming and bathroom access. Medical professionals will be permitted to refuse to participate in treatments, counseling and surgery related to “sex reassignment or gender identity transitioning.”
The Republican said in a statement, he had signed the law “to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations and private associations from discriminatory action by state government.”
Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia, under pressure from business interests, two weeks ago voted a similar bill passed by the State Legislature. Also North Carolina , voted a law which prohibits local governments from enacting anti-discrimination measures to protect the LGBT community.
Gay rights groups and businesses have decried it as discriminatory. And online, the tweets and memes mocking Mississippi have been flying almost as quickly as calls to boycott the State. Some celebrities , as the famous talk show host who happens to be a lesbian , Ellen Degeneres denounces all these laws by saying : “I’m really not a politic person, but this is not politics. This is human rights.”
New York and Vermont are both banning non-essential state-funded travel to Mississippi after that state’s governor signed the law.
Noëmie Bénéteau, IEJ 1Bis