Election 2016

Judge Hands Sweeping, Stinging Defeat to Mississippi’s Anti-LGBTQ “Religious Liberty” Law

slate.comAnti-LGBTQ activists just suffered their worst defeat since the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision—a rout so stinging and decisive that it calls into question the viability of their entire strategy post-Obergefell.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.

That drubbing came in the form of an astonishing 60-page opinion by U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves blocking every single part of Mississippi’s sweeping, vicious anti-LGBTQ segregation law from taking effect. The law, HB 1523, granted special protections to three religious beliefs: Those who oppose same-sex marriage; those who oppose sex outside of marriage; and those who dislike trans and gender-nonconforming people. Starting July 1, HB 1523 would have allowed religious landlords to evict gay and trans renters; permitted religious employers to fire workers for being LGBTQ; granted state and private adoption agencies the right to turn away same-sex couples; allowed private businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people; given doctors a right to refuse to treat LGBTQ people in most circumstances; and permitted clerks to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

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