SCOTUS Lets Mississippi’s HB 1523, America’s Most Anti-LGBT Law, Stay in Place

By Samantha Allen

If the South is a test kitchen for anti-LGBT groups to cook up discriminatory legislation before serving it elsewhere, then the Supreme Court’s Monday decision to deny certification to the legal challenge against Mississippi’s HB 1523 could prove poisonous.

Or, in other words, what happens in Mississippi might not stay in Mississippi.

“I think to many people HB 1523 was kind of a bellwether of what’s going to be allowed in other states or on the federal level,” Beth Orlansky, advocacy director with the Mississippi Center for Justice, told The Daily Beast.

HB 1523 specifically enumerates three religious beliefs—that marriage is “the union of one man and one woman,” that sex should be “reserved” to heterosexual marriage, and that gender cannot be changed—and gives broad permission to deny service to LGBT people based on those beliefs. The law, first passed in April 2016, has been in effect since October 2017, when an injunction against the bill was lifted.

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