Mississippi state Sen. Jenifer Branning has taken down her campaign Facebook page after last night’s passage of a sweeping anti-LGBT “license to discriminate” bill that some are calling even worse than the one just enacted in North Carolina.
Branning spent hours at the Senate podium defending the bill to angry Democrats, one of whom introduced an amendment that would have required posting signs at the state border which announce that discrimination is legal in Mississippi.
That amendment was rejected by the same vote margin by which the underlying bill later passed.
The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports on last night’s action:
House Bill 1523 would allow clerks to deny same-sex marriage licenses to gay couples because of their religious beliefs and not face any repercussions. It would also allow private businesses and faith-based organizations to refuse services based on those same beliefs without retribution.
Sen. Jenifer Branning, R-Philadelphia, presented the bill to the Senate. Debate bill lasted over two hours.
“This is presenting a solution to the crossroads we find ourselves in today as a result of Obergefell v. Hodges,” Branning said, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriages. “Ministers, florists, photographers, people along those lines — this bill would allow them to refuse to provide marriage-related business services without fear of government discrimination.”
Opponents of the bill say the bill could allow discrimination of those in the LGBT community and possibly single mothers, but Branning said the bill deals only with same-sex marriage.
The bill states that marriage should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; male (man) or female (woman) refers to an individual’s sex at time of birth.