Even when lawmakers pass bills to protect Christians from government retaliation for refusing to participate in homosexual “weddings,” governors and courts strike them down. But that’s not stopping lawmakers determined to preserve free exercise of religion.
The Mississippi Senate passed a bill this week called “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” would protect businesses, religious organizations, and government employees who hold religious objections to homosexual “marriage.” From the Clarion Ledger:
Sen. Jenifer Branning, R-Philadelphia, presented the bill to the Senate. Debate bill lasted over two hours.
“This is presenting a solution to the crossroads we find ourselves in today as a result of Obergefell v. Hodges,” Branning said, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriages. “Ministers, florists, photographers, people along those lines — this bill would allow them to refuse to provide marriage-related business services without fear of government discrimination.”
Opponents of the bill say the bill could allow discrimination of those in the LGBT community and possibly single mothers, but Branning said the bill deals only with same-sex marriage.
The bill states that marriage should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; male (man) or female (woman) refers to an individual’s sex at time of birth.
The state’s House today passed the bill, which now heads to the governor’s desk.
Specific protections include allowing circuit clerks to recuse themselves from issuing “marriage” licenses, wedding vendors to decline services, and doctors to decline to do “sex reassignment” surgery.
North Carolina has a similar religious exemption law for magistrates and court officials. Although Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed the bill, which the legislature overrode, he recently signed a bill that overturned a city council ordinance that would have allowed men pretending to be women into women’s restrooms.
The battle to uphold freedom, decency, and common sense continues.