Supreme Court says 'no' to LGBT supporters appealing Mississippi's 'religious freedom' law

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"Any decision that the Supreme Court takes in sync with the jurisprudential developments on gay rights the world over would be welcome", BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said.

Social conservatives celebrated the Supreme Court's allowing the law to stand, with Alliance Defending Freedom's Kevin Theriot stating on Monday that laws like HB 1523 "protect freedom and harm no one".

The Supreme Court is refusing to hear challenges to a MS law that allows businesses and government employees to deny services to LGBT people based on their religious beliefs.

"We had challenged it before it went into effect. before people were hurt and turned away and left without all the access to health care and government services that everyone else has", says Beth Littrell, a lawyer for Lambda Legal, a legal organization that advocates for LGBT people.

"We will keep fighting in MS until we overturn this harmful law, and in any state where anti-gay legislators pass laws to roll back LGBT civil rights", said Beth Littrell, a lawyer with gay rights group Lambda Legal.

Many business owners have also spoken out against the law; according to South Mississippi's Sun Herald, more business owners in the area have decried it than support it.


Decisions in some of those cases are still pending.

Among other things, the measure lets businesses refuse to provide marriage-related services to same-sex couples and allows judges, magistrates and justices of the peace to refuse to perform same-sex weddings. But earlier petitions to review the ban were overturned by the court. The Texas ruling only concerned whether the lawsuit can move forward, and was not a decision on the merits of the controversy. "What is natural to one may not be natural to others", the top court said.

The Mississippi fight in some ways represented the flip side of a Colorado case the high court is now considering; the question in that instance is whether the state can require a baker who sells wedding cakes to make one for a same-sex couple's wedding.

In a similar vein, the justices are now resolving a case from Colorado, involving a Christian baker who declined to produce a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

In fact, in MS, women can now be fired for wearing trousers, or having premarital sex, under the sweeping new "religious freedom" law created to allow discrimination against LGBT people. As NPR's Nina Totenberg has reported, a decision is expected by June.

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