Legislation should not discriminate based on sexual orientation

by JONATHAN BROOKSHIRE//Social Media Coordinator

Freedom is more than just a piece of paper that justifies your unalienable rights as a human being.

A bill, law, or human being should not have the power to take away the rights of any man or woman, no matter what his or her sexual orientation may be.

The Mississippi State Legislature has passed a House bill that “provides certain protections regarding a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction,” according to House Bill 1523.

The “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” is another name for the bill, and it upholds the religious beliefs and morals of a person who does not believe in same sex marriage.

Mississippi isn’t alone in this decision. In fact, according to TIME magazine, at least 10 other states have passed, or are considering, some version of the bill.

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 has members of the transgender community and its supporters rallying against it.

House Bill 2 “requires transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate.”

Why is it possible for states to pass such legislation that prohibits the marriage and service of the LGBT community?

It is only possible because the argument that was used is that the allowing of gay rights infringes upon others religious and moral beliefs, which, in turn, infringes upon their rights as a citizen.

House Bill 1523 is total bigotry disguised as justification.

A handful of the sub-sections in Section Three begin with the phrase “The state government shall not take any discriminatory action.” That phrase alone is absolute discrimination.

Just as the law doesn’t allow for the discrimination of a person with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction, it discriminates against all members of the LGBT community.

Refusing customers based on their sexual orientation is a hate crime and sounds an awful lot like the Jim Crow laws.

The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation after the Reconstruction Era in the United States.

Just as the Jim Crow laws enforced racial segregation, Miss. House Bill 1523 and N.C. House Bill 2, as well as any other law that is relatively close in its nature, segregates LGBT citizens.

On another note, not all establishments in Mississippi enforce this law. In turn, this bill will create a division in Mississippi between members of the LGBT community and their supporters vs. the “person with sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.”

More importantly, it will cause a division nationwide. More states may follow suit, and more people will be in favor of the “New Jim Crow” laws.

Delving into the text of the bill, the state government has the right to decline marriage, employment, and even sales.

To deny somebody a job and a place to live is asking them to live in poverty. No government body in America should have that right.

In the United States Constitution, it states that all of its citizens have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When a right as simple as buying a house or holding down a job is denied, it intervenes with the right of life, liberty, and their pursuit of happiness!

Having such laws as House Bill 1523 in effect is absolutely ridiculous and unconstitutional.

This bill also undermines the law of the land. Since June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage has been legal nationwide after the Supreme Court made the decision on a 5-4 vote.

Mississippi House Bill 1523, and any other bill in conjunction with this bill, should be voided.

LGBT citizens should have the same rights as any other natural born citizen!

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