Jon Allison’s Monday Blog
Last Tuesday Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill permitting businesses, individuals and religious organizations to deny goods and services to LGBT persons if providing such goods and services would offend “sincerely held religious beliefs.” The law takes effect July 1, 2016. This move by the state prevents cities and towns from putting in place anti-discrimination protections for LGBT persons. There has been widespread criticism of the law. The Mississippi Economic Council, the ACLU and numerous other organizations have announced their opposition to the law. Elected officials in various parts of the country have banned non-essential state travel to Mississippi. Bryan Adams cancelled a concert. Some of the state’s largest employers, including MGM Resorts, Toyota, Nissan, and Tyson Foods have denounced the law. More than a dozen corporations, including Coca-Cola, GE and Whole Foods have joined with the Human Rights Campaign in calling for repeal of the law. Similar bills have been proposed and discussed in a number of states and localities, but the threat of losing business has often shut discussions down. We’ll see how this plays out.