The vote is starting. Dominic Holden reports at Buzzfeed:
Mississippi lawmakers are scheduled to take a final vote Wednesday on what critics believe is the most sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in the United States. The bill passed in the state House in February, and opponents are hoping to kill it in the Senate by delaying a possible vote until after a Wednesday midnight deadline.
But Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, the most powerful person in the state Senate, supports the bill, his spokesman Laura Hipp told BuzzFeed News. “It should be heard today,” she said Wednesday around lunchtime. “There are pastors who have been concerned about same-sex marriage, and that is why this bill is moving forward in the senate.”
House Bill 1523 would protect individuals, certain businesses, and religious organizations that take actions based on a “sincerely held” religious opposition to same-sex marriage — and protect those who believe sex should be restricted to married straight couples. It would also cover those who object to recognizing the gender identity of transgender people. “This is probably the worst religious freedom bill to date,” said Ben Needham, director of Project One America, an LGBT advocacy group in the Deep South.
The live-stream is here. (Click “Senate webcast.) It’s not yet known when the bill will be called.