Via press release from the Liberty Counsel:
An Obama appointed, former ACLU, federal district court judge, Carlton Reeves, blocked the Mississippi law, known as “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” moments before it would have gone into effect. Reeves, who served on the board of the ACLU of Mississippi before he was appointed by President Obama, issued an opinion in which he described the Mississippi law as “state-sanctioned discrimination.” The judge-strained opinion also states the law gives preference to religions regarding beliefs about marriage and “gender identity.”
HB 1523 would have protected natural persons, pastors, and closely-held corporations from discrimination and legal action by the state or state agencies, due to sincerely held religious beliefs or convictions. Marriage-related industries, adoptions, churches and pastors, businesses with private facilities like restrooms and lockers, employer grooming standards, expressive activity of state employees, and clerks and others who perform marriages or issue licenses were also included.
This Act was overwhelmingly passed 31-17 by the Mississippi Senate and signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 same-sex marriage ruling. It was one of many similar measures enacted in the United States in the year following that landmark decision.
“What do you expect from a former ACLU attorney appointed to the bench by President Obama? Judges need to put aside their ideology and be impartial, but many judges today pass off their personal opinions in place of the Constitution,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Religious liberty must be protected and is the reason for the founding of America,” said Staver.