To start, in Mississippi, HB 1523:
- defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman”
- indicates that sex should be "reserved" to heterosexual marriages
- that gender cannot be changed
- and gives permission to deny service to LGBT people based on those beliefs
Mississippi adopted this law in April 2016. It came into force in October 2017. LGBT rights groups have started a legal battle but the Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal. It believes that the plaintiffs didn't have proper standing to challenge the law.
But be aware that it's not over. LGBT groups will continue to fight.
"While we are obviously disappointed that the Supreme Court denied cert in our case, the ruling below was based on standing, not the merits so the fight is not over," Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney in the Campaign for Southern Equality case, said in a statement.
"Every day that HB 1523 remains in effect in Mississippi, we will keep fighting to ensure that this blatantly unconstitutional law is relegated to the dustbin of history."
“HB 1523 fails to honor the tradition of religious freedom in America – instead, it allows people to use religion as a license to discriminate. The LGBTQ community remains in harm’s way every single day that this law is in effect, and we are committed to working with our legal partners to strike this draconian measure once and for all,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans.
Finally, Donald Trump's administration is preparing a license to discriminate based on religious and moral beliefs.
It's not just about people in our community. Single mothers, women seeking abortions, people with HIV, people of color could be denied access to health care, which is extremely worrying.
The US Supreme Court's decision to refuse to hear the case against HB 1523 has confirmed what we presented: the approval of a federal discrimination license. But before you go into depression, remember that more and more municipalities are protecting LGBTQ people.