In April, Mississippi’s legislature passed an anti-LGBT law that prevent lawsuits against anyone who discriminates on “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions” opposing same-sex marriage, transgender identity or premarital sex. The law, which was to go into effect today, would’ve made the Magnolia State a hotbed of discrimination lawsuits. But U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has stopped that from happening… for now.
In a 60-page ruling, Reeves struck down the entirety of the law (known as House Bill 1523), saying that it “violates both the guarantee of religious neutrality and the promise of equal protection of the laws” by granting privileges to people who hold certain religious beliefs. Naturally, Mississippi governor Phil Bryant promised an “aggressive appeal” to Reeves’ decision and his conservative cronies are also crying about it.
The case against HB 1523 was brought by Roberta Kaplan, an attorney working for the Campaign for Southern Equality, an LGBTQ rights organization. Her involvement should give Mississippi LGBTQ people hope seeing as she “successfully challenged Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban in late 2014 and the state’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples earlier this year,” according to The Clarion-Ledger.
Whether the state governor realizes it or not, he should be grateful for Reeves and Kaplan. They just saved him countless taxpayers dollars that his administration would’ve spent defending the unconstitutional law.