Mississippi religious objection bill passes, igniting protests

Mississippi’s controversial religious objection bill, which has drawn harsh criticism from the LGBT community and others, is now in effect, thanks to an appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that that ministers, LGBT activists and others bringing the lawsuit lacked the standing to bring the litigation challenging House Bill 1523.

In 2016, the Mississippi Legislature passed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” better known as HB 1523, authored by House Speaker Philip Gunn. A reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide, the Mississippi bill seeks to protect by law the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and prevents government intervention when churches or businesses act “based upon or in a manner consistent with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.”