SB2681 Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act; enact and modify the great seal
Author/Sponsor: Senator Gandy, Senator Hudson, Senator Jolly, Senator Smith, Senator Tindell, Senator Chassaniol, Senator Parker, Senator Polk, Senator Watson, Senator Burton, Senator Carmichael, Senator Fillingane, Senator Hale, Senator Harkins, Senator Jackson, Senator Lee, Senator Longwitz, Senator Ward, and Senator Collins
Date Introduced: 20 January 2014
Date Enacted: 1 July 2014
- Known as “License to Discriminate” legislation, and as Mississippi’s “new Jim Crow law,” the act protects religious people from legal repercussions if they verbally condemn the lifestyle or actions of LGBTQ people. Additionally, the bill expands the definition of an individual to include businesses, and so if a business owner thinks their religious beliefs would be violated by delivering service to an LGBTQ person, the Act allows them to deny them service, a move that some have called "anti-gay segregation". Instead of simply not protecting LGBT persons from discrimination, the Act actually protects those who choose to discriminate against LGBTQ people, if they use their religion as the basis for doing so.
- The Act reads: 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; TO AMEND THE 1818 MISSISSIPPI LAWS, ACT OF JANUARY 19, 1818, PAGE 142, TO REVISE THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE THAT STATE AGENCIES SHALL CONTINUE TO USE STATIONERY AND OTHER SUPPLIES HAVING THE 1818 SEAL THEREON UNTIL SUPPLIES OF SUCH ITEMS ARE DEPLETED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
- 3 April 2014, the Act was approved by the governor.
- The new state seal was unveiled on 1 July 2014.