Mississippi Governor Signs Country’s Worst Piece of Anti-LGBT Legislation into Law

April 5, 2016 • 1:55 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has signed into law the nation’s worst piece of anti-LGBT legislation today.

“With his signature, Gov. Bryant announced to the world that if you or your loved ones are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, you are not welcome in Mississippi,”  Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, said. “Indiana and North Carolina’s anti-LGBT laws were horrendous, but Gov. Bryant’s bill goes even further in denying critical protections and enabling discrimination against LGBT individuals.”

Mississippi’s new discriminatory law allows:

  • Elected officials and government employees to refuse issuing marriage licenses or performing marriage ceremonies as their jobs currently require;
  • Some businesses and faith based organizations to deny housing, jobs and public services to people based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as single mothers and unmarried couples;
  • Taxpayer funded nonprofit organizations to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, including health care, emergency shelters, child care, affordable housing and more;
  • Foster parents to force foster children to undergo conversion therapy;
  • Schools to discriminate against transgender students by prohibiting them from wearing clothing or using the restrooms that match their gender identity.

States that have passed similar discriminatory pieces of legislation have seen strong backlash from the public and business communities, including Indiana, which lost $60 million in convention business because of its RFRA law. And, just this morning, Paypal announced that it has withdrawn its plans to expand in the Tar Heel state because of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s new law that nullified all local nondiscrimination ordinances, and prohibits any future ordinance from going into effect.

“Americans do not want to live, work or visit states that openly embrace and legalize discrimination against anyone,” McTighe said. “Everyone should be protected equally under the law, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  It’s an embarrassing shame that Gov. Bryant and a handful of politicians have put Mississippi in the same class of states with legalized discrimination as North Carolina and Indiana.”

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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