JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant. That is the bill that stemmed a lot of controversy because opponents were worried it would allow people to discriminate against gays and others not protected under federal law. The bill also adds “In God We Trust” to the state seal.
The original version of the bill reads as follows:
AN ACT TO ENACT THE MISSISSIPPI RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT STATE ACTION OR AN ACTION BY ANY PERSON BASED ON STATE ACTION SHALL NOT BURDEN A PERSON’S RIGHT TO THE EXERCISE OF RELIGION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
The final version of the bill reads as follow:
AN ACT TO ENACT THE MISSISSIPPI RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT STATE ACTION SHALL NOT SUBSTANTIALLY BURDEN A PERSON’S RIGHT TO THE EXERCISE OF RELIGION; TO PRESCRIBE THE CONTENTS OF THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE THAT STATE AGENCIES SHALL CONTINUE TO — USE STATIONERY AND OTHER SUPPLIES HAVING THE GREAT SEAL AS IT EXISTED AS OF JULY 1, 2014, UNTIL SUPPLIES OF SUCH ITEMS ARE DEPLETED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
Supporters claim the final version of the bill mimics a federal law that made passage in 1993 under Bill Clinton, which Hobby Lobby uses to support its arguments against providing contraception coverage under the affordable care act.
Opponents are still worried the law could cause people to discrimination against others, citing religious belief.