July 26, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

The South’s “Licenses to Discriminate” Laws are Just What They Sound Like

If you haven’t yet heard of HB1523, a local Mississippi mandate that became law in October, you’re not alone. Even though Mississippi’s “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” has been described by the Daily Beast as the “most Anti-LGBT law in America,” its recent passage has been met with a distinct lack of vocal queer outrage, mainly because the bill has slipped so quietly under the urban liberal radar. In early October, an injunction against HB1523 was lifted, making it legal for housing complexes, shelters, and small businesses in Mississippi to discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals on the basis of their orientation or gender identity. What’s worse, it allows people to refuse service based on whether or not they think someone looks or presents as queer. Never has a law been so sweepingly vague and threatening as HB1523, which protects discrimination due to:

“The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:

(a)  Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;

(b)  Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and

(c)  Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”

After the creation (and eventual repeal) of Prop 8, the California law that would have made gay marriage illegal had it stayed in effect past 2014, Frank Schubert, a man who raised 40 million for the discriminatory campaign, looked for newer ways to limit LGBTQ+ rights across the country. Schubert came up with a few different ideas, including North Carolina’s infamous “Bathroom Bill,” as well as an idea for a “partial birth” anti-abortion bill that will specifically apply to LGBTQ+ individuals. Schubert has been working tirelessly since Prop 8’s demise to find new ways to prohibit LGBTQ+ rights across the country. HB1523 is the newest version of the religious freedom protection initiative that people like the Colorado cake shop owner cling to just to avoid servicing queer couples and individuals. While there’s been a ton of state-specific legislation across the country over the past few years that has tried to pit religious freedom against queer rights, HB1523 goes a bit further. Under the new house bill, business owners, medical practitioners, landlords and other providers will be able to deny service on the assumption that someone is queer. The power to discriminate will become completely subjective under the new regime.

The Mississippi branch of the ACLU put out a statement after HB1523 went into effect in October:

“The nation’s most extreme anti-LGBTQ law is now in effect in Mississippi, and it will bring undeniable damage to the lives of thousands of Mississippians, paving the way for deep harm and discrimination. HB1523 allows some state government officials, healthcare providers, businesses, and employees to cite their personally held religious beliefs as a justification to discriminate against Mississippi residents and visitors. This is wrong. Although HB 1523 is now in effect in Mississippi, we will do everything we can to limit its consequences. We stand proudly with LGBTQ Mississippians, as well as their friends, families and allies who are committed to fighting this law and ensuring everyone can live their lives free from fear of state-sanctioned discrimination. We stand ready to challenge discrimination in all forms and where possible, and will bring lawsuits against those who discriminate against their LGBTQ neighbors and fellow Mississippians.”

Related Posts

Trans Incident At Wi Spa May Have Been Staged

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

On June 24th an Instagram user “cubaangel” posted a video of herself angrily confronting a staff member at the Wi...

Podcast Host Mat George Killed In Hit-And-Run

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Mathew George, gay co-host of the podcast “She Rates Dogs”, has died at the age of 26 after a hit-and-run...

Serenity Hollis, 25th Trans Person Murdered- E.P.I.C Pride Show, June 30th, 2021

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Serenity Hollis, 25th Trans Person...

Cops Banned From NYC Pride- E.P.I.C Pride Show, June 23rd, 2021

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Cops Banned From NYC Pride...

Caitlyn Jenner Running For California Governor – E.P.I.C Pride Show, June 16th, 2021

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Caitlyn Jenner Running For California...

LA Pride Announces “Thrive With Pride” Theme – E.P.I.C Pride Show, June 9th, 2021

June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – LA Pride Announces “Thrive With...

The Abbey Food & Bar Celebrates 30 Years

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

On May 23rd The Abbey Food & Bar celebrated 30 years since its founding in May 1991. The Abbey has...

Artists Featured For SaMo Pride Rainbow Road Art Walk

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

In honor of Pride month Santa Monica Pride (SaMo Pride) will feature a Rainbow Road Art Walk from June 4th-...

Railway Service Coming To WeHo

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

Metro rail service might be coming to the city of West Hollywood.  The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)...

LGBTQ Owned High Hemp Features First Organic Hemp Wrap

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

High Hemp features the world’s first ever organic hemp wrap which is revolutionizing the cannabis industry by offering a cleaner...

James Charles Admits To Messaging Under Age Boys- E.P.I.C Pride Show, May 19th, 2021

May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – James Charles Admits To Messaging...

2021 Pride Announces “Thrive With Pride” Theme

May 15, 2021

May 15, 2021

LA Pride has announced its 2021 pride theme this year called “Thrive With Pride”.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in...

Demi Lavato Comes Out As Pansexual- E.P.I.C Pride Show, May 12th, 2021

May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Demi Lavato Comes Out As...

WeHo Celebrates Asian American History Month

May 9, 2021

May 9, 2021

With Covid hate crimes on the rise against Asian Americans on the rise WeHo Reads 2021 season is Creating Hollywood...

Patrick O’Connell, AIDS Activist, Dead At 67

May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

Patrick O’Connell, a venerable AIDS activist and creator of the iconic red ribbon creating awareness about the disease, has died...