The Latest: Legal experts say new law violates 1st Amendment

Share article

 

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signing a bill law that allows religious groups and some private employers to refuse service to gay couples based on religious beliefs (all times local):

7 p.m.

Seven legal experts from Mississippi and beyond say the state's new religious-objections law is unconstitutional.

Law professors at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi College, Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia University in New York City say in a joint statement that the law violates freedom of religion.

They say the law contradicts the religious freedom granted by the First Amendment by allowing religious exemptions that would harm the rights of others — lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Mississippians, in particular.

They say the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment forbids the government from singling out any particular religion or belief to favor or disfavor.

The statement comes after Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says the religious-objections law won't protect anyone from federal lawsuits.

___

6:45 p.m.

Mississippi's attorney general says the religious-objections law enacted today doesn't protect anyone from federal lawsuits.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law Tuesday a bill that would allow for religious organizations and some private businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs.

Attorney General Jim Hood says in a statement that House Bill 1523 does not override federal law or constitutional rights.

Hood says any lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of HB 1523 would have to be taken on a case-by-case basis, but that the bill won't protect anyone from federal law.

He says that if someone violates a federal statue or constitutional provision, the bill won't protect that person from a federal lawsuit or personal liability under federal law.

___

5:20 p.m.

New York's governor has banned nonessential state-funded travel to Mississippi after that state's governor signed a law allowing religious groups and some businesses to refuse service to gay couples.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the ban Tuesday, the same day Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the measure, which supporters say will protect those who have religious objections to same-sex marriage. Opponents to the measure say it will lead to discrimination.

Last week Cuomo, a Democrat, banned state-funded travel to North Carolina after lawmakers there blocked anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people.

In a statement, Cuomo said the Mississippi law is a "sad, hateful" measure and that he will not allow any official state travel to the state until the law is repealed.

___

5 p.m.

The state of Vermont is banning official travel to Mississippi because of the state's passage of a law that allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples.

In a Tuesday message to top state officials Vermont Administration Secretary Justin Johnson said the action was a response to Mississippi's new law.

Earlier Tuesday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, invited PayPal to bring 400 jobs to Vermont after the company said it was backing out of a move to North Carolina because of a new law in that state that restricts protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Last week Shumlin banned all nonessential state travel to North Carolina to protest the law.

___

2 p.m.

Mississippi's governor has signed a law that allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on religious beliefs.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 on Tuesday, despite opposition from gay-rights groups and some businesses. Some conservative and religious groups support the bill.

The measure states it wants to protect those who believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, that sexual relations should only take place inside such marriages, and that male and female genders are unchangeable.

The law allows churches, religious charities and privately held businesses to decline services to people violating those beliefs. Individual government employees may also opt out, although the measure says governments must still provide services.

Other states have considered similar legislation.

(This item corrects that the bill allows private, not public businesses to refuse service).

___

11:45 a.m.

Mississippi's governor has signed a law that allows public and private businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on the employers' religious beliefs.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 on Tuesday, despite opposition from gay-rights groups and some businesses. Some conservative and religious groups support the bill.

The measure's intention is to protect those who believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, that sexual relations should only take place inside such marriages, and that male and female genders are unchangeable.

The law allows churches, religious charities and privately held businesses to decline services to people violating those beliefs. Individual government employees may also opt out, although the measure says governments must still provide services.

Other states have considered similar legislation.

 

 
 

 

Advertisement

Comments

Discuss this story on Twitter or Facebook

@AP on TwitterAP on Facebook

AP Radio News: