Quantcast
Connect with us

Court lifts injunction on Mississippi law seen as anti-LGBT

Published

on

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday lifted an injunction that blocked a Mississippi law allowing businesses and government employees to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by citing religious beliefs.

Opponents said they would likely seek to overturn the decision, arguing that the measure allowed for sweeping discrimination against the LGBT community.

ADVERTISEMENT

A three-judge panel at the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that blocked the 2016 law, known as House Bill 1523 and backed by Christian groups, from taking effect.

The panel said the plaintiffs, who included ordained ministers who have married same-sex couples and same-sex couples seeking to marry, did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.

“None of these plaintiffs has clearly shown an injury-in-fact,” said the panel, which did not rule on the merits of the law.

The Mississippi measure was one of a series of bills proposed in socially conservative, Republican-dominated states that critics saw as an attempt to erode the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This law is among the very worst in the nation,” said Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation at Lambda Legal, an LGBT rights legal aid group, in a telephone interview.

Sommer, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said they would likely seek further judicial review, either before the full Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.

A federal judge blocked the Mississippi law in July 2016, saying it unconstitutionally allowed “arbitrary discrimination” against the LGBT community and unmarried people.

ADVERTISEMENT

The law cleared the way for employers to cite religion in determining workplace policies on dress code, grooming and bathroom and locker access.

Under the measure, religious organizations would be protected when they make decisions regarding employment, housing, the placement of children in foster or adoptive homes, or the solemnization of a marriage based on their beliefs, the appeals court wrote.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican who signed HB 1523 into law in April 2016, applauded Thursday’s ruling. The state has defended the measure as a reasonable accommodation intended to protect businesses and individuals seeking to exercise their religious views.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As I have said all along, the legislation is not meant to discriminate against anyone, but simply prevents government interference with the constitutional right to exercise sincerely held religious beliefs,” Bryant said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Richard Chang)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Bill de Blasio learned of federal investigation — and suspended his 2020 bid the next day: report

Published

on

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday that he was ending his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

There may have been more to the timing than previously reported.

"Federal election officials asked Mayor de Blasio for more information about his presidential campaign fundraising after he used a state political action committee to pay for expenses related to the bid – seemingly against the law," the New York Daily News reported Friday. "The Federal Election Commission demanded that de Blasio 2020 clarify a debt the campaign owed his NY Fairness PAC in a letter Thursday – the day before Hizzoner dropped out of the race."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

White House Counsel busted working to keep whistleblower report from Congress: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump's White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

"The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president," The Washington Post reported Friday. "The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Watch Ex-CIA official break down the ‘three crimes’ Trump committed if Ukraine scandal is true

Published

on

President Donald Trump could be charged with committing three federal crimes if the whistleblower reports involving the White House seeking campaign interference from Ukraine are correct.

MSNBC "Deadline: White House" anchor Nicolle Wallace interviewed Jeremy Bash on Friday -- and worried about the safety of the whistleblower.

"The stakes could not be any higher, the risk to his career -- or her career -- and reputation and perhaps legal standing could not be any higher for this whistleblower. That's why we’re glad to be joined by national security analyst, former chief of staff of the CIA and Department of Defense, someone I wanted to talk to about this story all week, Jeremy Bash," Wallace said.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image