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Bill Repeal Attempt About Economic Fallout, Says Rep Hughes

JACKSON, MISS– Members of the House are coming together to repeal the recently passed and signed Religious Liberties Accommodation Act. 

House Bill 1523 would allow private businesses, clergy, circuit clerks and others to deny marriage services to same sex couples without the fear of being sued.

Other argue that this bill would also allow blatant discrimination against same sex couples, by letting landlords, health clinics, private schools, and private adoption outlets to turn away same sex couples without legal consequence.

“Any church can already dictate what happens inside their walls.. there’s never been a case where any pastor priest could be sued for doing that or denying it,” says Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford, “this bill is a drastic solution to a problem that doesn’t it.”

Hughes argues that this bill isn’t just fixing a problem that isn’t there, but creating other problems. The U.S.S. Portland won’t be christened in Pascagoula because of refusal to travel to the state after the law was signed. Concerts have been canceled, authors native to Mississippi have signed a letter asking for the repeal, and even sports have been impacted by the Governor’s signature to that bill.

“The SEC has announced there’s a possibility that championship baseball games won’t be played here,” says Hughes, “we don’t yet know what economic impact that has on the smaller towns that host these events.”

While Hughes is optimistic that the bill will at least be heard, he acknowledges that there will be some difficulty.

“The leadership has to allow it to the floor for a vote first,” says Hughes.

The Human Rights Campaign says Hughes is making the right move for the LGBTQ community in Mississippi.

“We thank Rep. Hughes and his fair-minded colleagues who continue to fight for the rights and dignity of LGBT Mississippians,” said HRC Mississippi State Director Rob Hill. “The discriminatory H.B. 1523 has no place in our state, and, along with the many Mississippians who support full equality for their fellow citizens, we remain committed to doing everything possible to remove this stain from our state’s legacy.”

Two-thirds of House members must vote in favor of suspending the rules to allow a vote on the proposed legislation to repeal H.B. 1523.

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