News (USA)

Legal groups ask the Supreme Court to stop Mississippi’s ‘license to discriminate’ law

supreme court lgbt rights
An LGBTQ activist waves a rainbow flag on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr

Legal groups filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday within hours of Mississippi’s so-called “religious freedom” law went into effect.

Lambda Legal and Mississippi Center for Justice wrote that the law “is a transparent attempt to undermine the equal dignity of LGBT citizens established in this court’s decisions,” the Associated Press reports.

It seeks to determine if those citizens have standing to sue “on the ground that [the law] violates the Establishment Clause by endorsing religious opposition to marriages of same-sex spouses, transgender individuals, and sexual relations outside of marriage” as well as interfering with preexisting protections, such as the right to same-sex marriage.

The law grants those citing religious motivations to discriminate against the LGBTQ community and others, based on the belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman, sex should not take place outside of marriage, and that a person’s gender is determined at birth and cannot be altered.

The ramifications are sweeping, and could result in discrimination in every sector of private and public life.

The law was written in part by the Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom. The group is also representing a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in a case that is set to appear before the Supreme Court.

That decision will likely have an impact on laws like the one Mississippi just passed, by determining whether religious freedom trumps the right to not be discriminated against as a member of a minority community.

The Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will also now give religious people the right to discriminate based on their beliefs.

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