US: New MS Law Allows Discrimination Against LGBT Community

After a year and a half of court challenges, contentious religious freedom law is set to take effect in Mississippi Friday. This, after an appeals court denied a rehearing which challenged the law. House Bill 1523 will allow anyone from doctors to store owners to deny service for LGBT people based on individual religious beliefs.

Critics of the law call it the nation's most sweeping anti-LGBT law, while supporters say it protects their faith based convictions. Those in opposition said they're contemplating their next legal step in the coming days. The legislation passed in the Mississippi General Assembly last year, and was signed by Governor Phil Bryant, but faced legal challenges since had yet to take effect.

That's expected to change this week after a three-judge panel ruled the plaintiffs who sued in opposition to HB 1523 didn't have the standing challenge the law. HB 1523 will protect three types of religious beliefs as justification to deny service to LGBT individuals in Mississippi including the conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman. The law caused an economic backlash from corporations in the state and led to come canceled entertainment events. Read more via Local Memphis