More sweeping than North Carolina’s, which was the nation’s worst.
The Mississippi House of Representatives passed a sweeping anti-LGBT law on Friday that will make it easier to discriminate against gender and sexual minorities in the state.
The so-called Religious Liberty Accommodations Act is meant to protect people, businesses, and organizations with “sincerely held” religious beliefs about the sanctity of traditional marriage. The bill also says gender is determined by “an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
The Mississippi measure comes on the heels of similar anti-LGBT bills passed in North Carolina and Georgia in March. The North Carolina law was widely regarded as the broadest anti-LGBT law in the country for requiring transgender people from to use the restroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate and striking down existing LGBT nondiscrimination statutes. Georgia’s bill was vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal.
But the Mississippi bill is so sweeping that it may be more discriminatory than even the North Carolina statute. The Mississippi bill would essentially make it impossible to sue for gender or sexuality discrimination if the motivation for the discrimination was religion.
Here are some of the bill’s provisions:
The new law strikes down all existing LGBT anti-discrimination laws in the state.
Update 2 (3/23/16): North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB 2 into law late Wednesday night, invalidating a Charlotte LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance and similar laws in nine other localities. His office released the following statement: “This new government regulation defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing, for example, a man to use a woman’s bathroom, shower or locker room…As a result, I have signed legislation passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette which was to go into effect April 1.”
Update (3/23/16): North Carolina Gov. McCrory plans to sign HB 2 into law on Wednesday evening, his spokesperson tells BuzzFeed.
North Carolina state legislators introduced, debated, and passed a sweeping anti-LGBT bill on Wednesday, pushing it through a Republican-controlled Assembly so fast that 11 Democrats walked out in protest before the Senate vote late in the afternoon.
House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, strikes down all existing LGBT nondiscrimination statutes across the state, on top of banning transgender people from using some public restrooms. “That North Carolina is making discrimination part of the law is shameful,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a video statement Wednesday.