On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union challenged Mississippi’s religious freedom law with a lawsuit on behalf of an engaged couple who the advocacy group say faced discrimination over the law.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 1523 last month which allows for private businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens. The law mandates that “the state government shall not take any discriminatory action against a religious organization wholly or partially” if they refuse a services based on their religious belief.
The ALCU filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court on behalf of Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas who claim in the lawsuit that ” by creating a separate and unequal set of laws applying only to the marriages of same-sex couples, HB 1523 imposes a disadvantage, a separate status and so a stigma upon all married same-sex couples in Mississippi.”
It also states that HB 1582 “violates the Fourteenth Amendment by subjecting the lawful marriages of same-sex couples to different terms and conditions than those accorded to different-sex couples.”
The ALCU is seeking an injuction to prevent HB 1523 from going into effect on July 1 of this year.
North Carolina is in a heated battle right now as well with a similar bill they just passed, HB 2, which aims to prevent transgender individuals from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with. NC Gov. Pat McCrory signed the controversial bill in March and since then, tourism in North Carolina has taken a serious hit with bands canceling concerts and businesses and corporations pulling out their operations in response to the bill. The state recently sued the federal government over claims the bill violates civil rights.