Republicans Legalize Discrimination in Mississippi

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday signed into law House Bill 1523, a measure that prevents government agencies from taking action against state employees, individuals, organizations and private associations that deny services based on religious objections — usually interpreted to mean religious objections against same-sex marriage, transgender rights and even extramarital sexual relationships. The law is set to go into effect in July.

The bills mark the latest developments in what LGBT advocates see as a concerted push among conservative legislatures to blunt or roll back the achievements of the LGBT rights movement, which culminated most notably with the Supreme Court’s decision last year to make marriage equality the law of the land. Although same-sex couples are now able to marry in all 50 states, the LGBT community — particularly transgender Americans — have since encountered new barriers to equality, often in the form of state laws that provide legal cover to religious opponents of same-sex marriage and nondiscrimination protections.

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