Just two months after Arizona’s governor struck down a similarly titled bill amid leftist outrage, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a religious liberty bill into law this week.
In reality, the new law’s language was edited extensively over the past few weeks and bears very little resemblance to the Arizona proposal. It provides for modest changes, including adding ‘In God We Trust’ to the state’s seal, while making sure to protect the rights of all Mississippians.
According to reports, the crux of this law, which will go into effect this summer, is to limit the burden government may place on those practicing their faith – no matter the religion.
Nevertheless, leftists are apoplectic, envisioning a state overrun with homophobic bigots curtailing the rights of gays in Mississippi.
ThinkProgress.org published an article about the development, describing the new law in its headline as “Anti-LGBT” and a “License To Discriminate.”
Despite the fact that 18 other states have religious protection laws already on the books, activists apparently believe they can get some attention by targeting and mischaracterizing the context of this law.
Dozens of gay rights protesters demonstrated outside the state Capitol building this week, protesting what Slate calls an “anti-gay segregation bill.”
The new law is relatively tame and largely exists to support the religious freedom act Bill Clinton signed more than two decades ago, according to its supporters. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins lobbied for this bill and celebrated its passage.
The FRC concluded the law adds God “back into the equation for business and organization leaders,” suggesting Bryant was able to accomplish what Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer did not.
“Unlike Arizona’s leaders,” the organization stated, “Mississippi officials read the law, didn’t listen to the hype,” and were able to pass “a measure that would protect the rights of citizens to protect their religious beliefs against government hostility.”
As for Perkin’s organization, ThinkProgress chose to attack the FRC in its article as well, calling it “an anti-LGBT hate group” that “took credit for [the law’s] passage.”
–B. Christopher Agee
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom