JACKSON, Mississippi, April 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Defying the trend of Republican governors in other states, the governor of Mississippi has signed a law protecting people of conscience from being compelled to participate in same-sex ceremonies.
Gov. Phil Bryant signed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” (H.B. 1523) yesterday, saying that the government may not compel religious organizations or individuals who have a sincere objection to take part in any homosexual couple’s “wedding.”
“I am signing H.B. 1523 into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations, and private associations from discriminatory actions from state government or its political subdivisions,” Gov. Bryant said in a statement released this afternoon.
For instance, the state must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, individual state employees may ask for a recusal, provided someone else will do so and the “licensing of any legally valid marriage is not impeded or delayed.”
Gov. Bryant’s decision comes just one week after business and entertainment companies lobbied Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to veto a similar bill. He ultimately hinted that the legislation did not align with the New Testament.
“Mississippians from all walks of life believe that the government shouldn’t punish someone because of their views on marriage. The people of Mississippi, from every demographic, support this commonsense ‘live and let live’ bill, which simply affirms the freedom of all people to peacefully live and work according to their deeply held beliefs without threat of punishment from their own government,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. […]