Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Bigot state

Mississippi just legalised discrimination against gay people:

The governor of Mississippi has signed into law a bill that allows private and public businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples, so long as that couple’s existence conflicts with the “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions” of the business owner.

Governor Phil Bryant released a statement on Twitter after signing House Bill 1523, also known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act”, protesting accusations that the bill facilitates discrimination against LGBT Mississippians. Instead, Bryant said, the bill “merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom as stated in the first amendment to the US constitution”.


While individuals, businesses and charities may decline to provide services to LGBT customers, the bill still requires the state government to provide services – although it does allow government employees to opt out of providing services individually.

...which means, in practice, that LGBT citizens will be routinely denied such services by bigoted public servants, stripping federal anti-discrimination law of any practical effect.

This is the face of the modern US: a bigoted hate-state. If the US wants to reclaim its mantle of "land of the free", it needs to legislate to outlaw this sort of bigotry, nationwide.