OXFORD, Miss. — Opponents of a law they fear could open the way for discrimination against gays and lesbians are planning a protest this Saturday during the graduation ceremony at the University of Mississippi.
Gov. Phil Brant is the commencement speaker. He recently signed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act and it becomes law July 1. The law says government cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices without a compelling reason. Critics contend it would give business owners the right to refuse service to same sex couples. Many businesses across the state have already posted rainbow colored signs reading “You buying, We selling” as part of their commitment not to discriminate.
The Governor earlier said controversial language was taken out of the bill before final passage, and it will not create an an atmosphere for discrimination.
The new law also puts the words “In God We Trust” on the state seal.