Mississippi Gov. Signs Religious Freedom Law Protecting Right to Decline Part in Same-Sex Ceremonies

Bryant-compressedJACKSON, Miss. — The governor of Mississippi has signed into law a bill that provides protections to pastors, faith-based organizations and business owners who object to being complicit in another’s same-sex ceremony.

“I am signing HB 1523 into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations, and private associations from discriminatory action by state government or its political subdivisions, which would include counties, cities and institutions of higher learning,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This bill merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to exercise of religious freedom as stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” he said.

As previously reported, on Friday, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed H.B. 1523, also known as the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act. It had been passed days prior in the Senate.

“The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that: marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth,” the legislation, authored by House Speaker Phillip Gunn, reads.

The bill then prohibits the government from punishing those who decline to officiate same-sex ceremonies or provide services or accommodations for the celebrations, as well as those whose policies require use of locker and restrooms consistent with their biological gender.

It does not permit persons to refuse service in general, but only to decline forms of personal participation in events that conflict with their faith.

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“The state government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person wholly or partially on the basis that the person has provided or declined to provide … services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, celebration, or recognition of any marriage, based upon or in a manner consistent with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction,” it reads in part.

“The state government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person wholly or partially on the basis that the person establishes sex-specific standards or policies concerning employee or student dress or grooming, or concerning access to restrooms, spas, baths, showers, dressing rooms, locker rooms, or other intimate facilities or settings…”

Homosexual advocacy groups have expressed opposition to the legislation, asserting that it is discriminatory. Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi, the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood Southeast and the Southern Poverty Law Center gathered outside of Bryant’s mansion to urge him to veto the bill.

“H.B. 1523 is a vicious, unacceptable attack on fairness, equality and the rights of LGBT people,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Fair-minded Mississippians and the business community roundly condemn this legislation, and implore Governor Bryant and legislative leaders to stand on the right side of history…”

The Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi also released a statement remarking that it “stands as one with our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community and the Human Rights Campaign.”

“Many of them share a Christian faith that is deep and profound. We should embrace their quest for equality and justice rather than placing obstacles in their pathway,” it said.

But others have expressed support for the measure, opining that no one should be forced to do anything that violates their faith and causes them to facilitate another man’s sins.

“No person should be punished by the government with crippling fines or face disqualification for simply believing what President Obama believed just a few years ago, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement.

“Big business and Hollywood have engaged in economic blackmail in Mississippi just like they have in Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas to try to force government discrimination of those who support natural marriage,” he said. “However, unlike Indiana and Georgia, leaders in Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas have chosen to defend the fundamental freedom of their citizens to believe and live according to those beliefs, rather than capitulate to the economic threats of big business and entertainment.”

“Mississippians from all walks of life believe that the government shouldn’t punish someone because of their views on marriage,” also stated Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “After all, you’re not free if your beliefs are confined to your mind. What makes America unique is our freedom to peacefully live out those beliefs, and the Constitution protects that freedom.”


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  • Guest

    Section 2 of the bill renders it unconstitutional

    The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:
    (a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;
    (b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
    © Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

    The government can’t pass a law that gives special deference to one particular religious viewpoint at the expense of others just as constitutionally protected.

    A town tried to pass laws making it hard for goats purchased for slaughter to be used as religious sacrifices, the Supreme Court in 1993 found that to be unconstitutional in a 9-0 vote that included the late Justice Scalia.

    This will get tossed out by the first federal court that reviews it.

    • bowie1

      How is at the expense of others since they can also get married with one man to one woman?

      • Guest

        your questions makes no sense since they can marry any sex they want – the state can’t restrict federal rights, only expand them.

        • bowie1

          Perhaps I should have worded differently – there are people of other religions who are against same sex marriage and would like to have their religious freedom re-inforced.

          • Guest

            I assure you no one will make them marry a spouse they don’t want to by whatever criteria they want to choose – sex, age, nationality, handedness, whatever.

            What they don’t have is a right to make other people – including employees and customers – act or pretend that they share the same beliefs because they have a constitutional right to their own.

            And government can’t pass a law that gives a right to religious discrimination of others like that to just one side of a religious issue. Remember the story of Pandora’s box, she tried to open the lid just a little too, but the lesson of the story is the lid is either open or closed.

            They might be able to pass a law that gave everyone the ability to religiously discriminate, but they can’t give it to just some people of particular beliefs – that is against the first amendment and exactly what the previously mentioned case tried to do and was slammed down by the Supreme Court 9-0 conservative or liberal.

        • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

          U said: …….” the state can’t restrict federal rights, only expand them.”

          In fact, that is exactly what the state govt of Mississippi has done, ie expand on the Federal rights of the 1st Amendment which prohibits the very powerful US Federal govt from restricting her people’s free exercise of religion or Freedom of Religion, eg thru govt persecution or prosecution, …….as had happened in Europe after the 1520 Protestant Reformation where people were persecuted by govts/kings for their non-conforming religion/denomination/beliefs, eg Catholic govts persecuting Protestants, Protestant govts persecuting Anabaptists n Puritans, etc.
          …….IOW, the state govt of Mississippi r not going to persecute or prosecute religious people n businesspersons who hv refused to participate in or provide goods n services for SSM ceremonies.
          .
          .
          .
          From Wiki … Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
          prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
          speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
          assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

          • acontraryview

            “which prohibits the very powerful US Federal govt from restricting her people’s free exercise of religion”

            The 1st Amendment does not prohibit the government from restricting people’s free exercise of religion. It prohibits the government from “prohibiting” the free exercise of religion. “Prohibiting” and “restricting” are two different things. Many rights granted by the Constitution have restrictions.

          • Guest

            No they have restricted the rights of those who don’t believe as section 2 defines, they can’t give just some religious beliefs special rights – that’s what the first amendment says. There can be no law that gives just some beliefs legal consideration.

      • SSGT_Randolph

        Gay couples in Mississippi could not legally marry until last year when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that state’s unconstitutional ban against marriage equality.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Are you talking about City of Hialeah v. the Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye? Because that’s not what that case held.

      • Guest

        They said that government can’t pass laws to interfere with someone’s religious practice solely because it is their belief, which is what this does for anyone holding a view other than those in section 2 of this bill.

        Each of the ordinances pursues the city’s governmental interests only against conduct motivated by religious belief, and thereby violates the requirement that laws burdening religious practice must be of general applicability.

        This law specifically states it against conduct motivated by religious belief, i.e. all beliefs contrary to those stated in section 2.

        Moreover, where, as here, government restricts only conduct protected by the First Amendment and fails to enact feasible measures to restrict other conduct producing substantial harm or alleged harm of the same sort, the governmental interests given in justification of the restriction cannot be regarded as compelling

        Sorry, government can’t pass laws that burden those of particular legal religious beliefs, by proxy or omission, most certainly they can’t say the point is to protect just one kind of religious belief over another as this legislation specifically says.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          That’s an awfully big stretch of Hialeah. Hialeah was about laws, not actions by private individuals.

          The Constitution restricts governments, not people. It cant, by definition, be unconstitutional for an individual to do anything, so there’s no grounds to say that it’s unconstitutional for shop owners to discriminate against anyone. It may be statutorily illegal–and it is, for classes protected by the Civil Rights Act–but actions of private people can’t be unconstitutional.

          • Guest

            And this is a law by the government giving special rights to just certain religious beliefs (there by inhibiting beliefs that don’t share them) as Hialeah had laws that inhibited certain beliefs and the acts associated with them.

            You are talking about the acts of someone using the law, I am talking about the law – by giving special rights based on religion – is unconstitutional from the get go.

      • Guest

        If I’m in error can you point out where? Would seem a law that targets or gives special rights to just a particular religious view or practice are unconstitutional under this, right?

        • Ambulance Chaser

          Hisleah was about passing laws that, on paper, appear to apply to everyone, *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge* but are really designed to target and impede a certain religious group. That’s what was forbidden.

          If you want to go after disparate impact, I can do some more research, but I’d look at 14th Amendment equal protection cases holding religion as a suspect class.

          • Guest

            Well they didn’t even bother with a ‘wink wink’ ‘nudge nudge’ on this one, they spelled out it was about allowing certain people to religiously discriminate.

  • gui1hermegano

    One decent politician. Rare thing.

    • gizmo23

      I hope economic pressure costs the state millions of dollars and thousands of jobs

      • gui1hermegano

        People out of work makes you happy?

        • John N

          He doesn’t know any gays with jobs, it never crossed his mind that some of them do work and that their jobs might be lost.

          • gizmo23

            Speaking for me. Why not talk to me?

        • Guest

          The people of this state elected their representatives, they can’t be held responsible for their unconstitutional acts?

        • gizmo23

          My state got boycotted in 1992 and I was happy for it

      • SSGT_Randolph

        Is there even anything in Mississippi worth boycotting?

      • gui1hermegano

        I hope the next guy you grab in a public restroom takes out his knife and kills you. He would be doing the world a huge favor.

        • gizmo23

          Not when the people are doing evil things like this law

          • Sharon

            Considering that Paedophiles have been known to go to court about their ‘sexual preferences’ being against the law and also claiming ‘discrimination’..and the fact that, in some countries it is legal to marry a child, would you help with the preparations and hold the functions at your place?? For necro or bestiality?? This law has opened up the freedom to practice abominations…’just because it is their preferences’..and the people are NOT ALLOWED to not be a part of it lest they are in trouble??!! WHAT!! Can you actually hear yourselves…REALLY!!?? Playing right into the hands of the dark forces. Can I make an educated ‘guess’ and say that you don’t believe in God?? Tell me, are you Pro-Christ or anti-Christ?? Just answer one or the other. Can you do it??

          • Quantz

            Pedophilia and bestiality are illegal and immoral because they involve the abuse of non-consenting people – children are all considered non-consenting until they reach the age of consent, and an animal cannot consent, period. Necrophilia doesn’t involve a living human being obviously. I would like to know why you’d compare these things which all involve abuse to the union of a same-sex couple both of whom are consenting and very much in love?

          • Sharon

            Marrying children is legal in some countries . So are the countries that have a law against it, discriminating against those people that ‘love the children’. This has already been to court and people are going to these countries because it is legal there…just as homosexuals used to years ago when people couldn’t bare the thought of 2 men doing what they do..people were sickened at what these men had to do to each other…but, now the public has been bullied into accepting this, whether they like it or not…THAT is the discrimination!!

          • Quantz

            Really! Well, may I ask you, what do two men do to each other in the bedroom that two straight people do not also do?

            Also, since it’s consensual and done in private, why is it anyone’s business?

          • Sharon

            Two ‘straight’ people have all that is needed (naturally) for the act of sex, the lovemaking and what is a result of that love..ie children…all in place for the natural act. The homosexual has nothing that is ‘natural’ so they have to go to the waste area of the human body…not made for this act..but is used, as there is no permanent part of the body for 2 male humans. It may be argued that sodomy has been around for thousands of years so, one would think that nature would somehow evolve to accompany this..but no..nothing!! BECAUSE GOD HAS SAID NO.
            Whether straight people do this or not is on their heads..and as you said..is their business ..but at least they have the choice not to.

          • Quantz

            Homosexual people have all that is needed for the act of sex and lovemaking as well, even though they can’t have children. The most unnatural thing you could do to a homosexual is try to make them a heterosexual. Of course they can love each other, exactly as a straight couple does. God is irrelevant to this. You would benefit greatly from an understanding of human sexuality not learned from a religion from from psychiatry.

          • Sharon

            Oh..the deceit…’God is irrelevant’.

          • Quantz

            God is irrelevant TO THIS SUBJECT. No one forms relationships thinking about God. They find someone they are attracted to and fall in love. And it happens exactly the same way whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.

          • Sharon

            So you think God doesn’t have a hand in who you meet??

          • gizmo23

            Completely ridiculous. Children have more to fear from their relatives than a transgender person in a bathroom.
            I bet you have been in a bathroom with one and didn’t even know it.
            What is to stop someone now from using the opposite bathroom.
            This is designed to hurt people you don’t agree with , nothing more. It protects no one

          • Sharon

            So anyone can pretend to be a transgender and go into the toilet just to get at the kids….Have you got kids?? I think not.
            Didn’t answer my question…Pro-Christ or anti-Christ??

          • gizmo23

            Pro Christ
            They can pretend to do that now.

          • Sharon

            So you are Christian. Then if you believe in Christ, why are you ‘for’ what He has said in an ‘abomination to Him’..what He has said is wrong?? Either with Him or against Him!!

          • gizmo23

            How do i know the sex of the person next to me in a stall. These laws are pure fear mongering

          • Sharon

            That’s exactly right..how do you know..one would always be wondering and that will take the ease and safety issue away from an individual. How do I know if the so-called female next to me is really a male that is dressed up just to perve. It is not fear mongering…it is fear CAUSING..taking away that last bit of safety one would feel knowing that a female is in an all female rest room. It is bad enough that perverts are sometimes waiting in the toilets for unsuspecting people, but now they could be standing right in front of you and the LAW HAS ALLOWED IT TO BE SO!! Why don’t they just keep their fetishes to themselves and not have the rest of the world have to pay for their perversions!!

          • gizmo23

            What is to stop someone from dressing as the opposite sex and doing just what you describe now? Are you going to have bathroon police? Transgendered people are around you everyday and you have no idea who they are.
            These laws do not protect you at all from perverts, sexual assualt laws do.
            What if someone has had a sex change, which bathroom do they choose?

          • Sharon

            ‘These laws do not protect you at all from perverts, sexual assualt laws do.’
            May be not..but they are opening the doors to many perverts..making it easier for them whilst taking away ‘privacy’ issues.

          • gizmo23

            How is it making it easier? A women would still be able to dress as a man and molest a little boy without these laws.

          • Sharon

            Ok hypothetical…a man, who is just a dressed up pervert, dressed as a woman, decides to change out of his dress into trousers…and does this in front of the mirror. A young girl exposed to this (on purpose) and runs out screaming to her parents. Usually, he can be reported and taken to the police station..but wait..now, they have no leg to stand on because the NEW law has his back..ie..he has every right to be there. REALLY!!

          • gizmo23

            The key is he is a dressed up pervert, not a transgendered person. Exposing one’s else for sexual gratification is a crime and in your scenario he should be arrested. I have no problem with that and no law protects anyone from that and he has no right to be there

          • Sharon

            So how do you prove he was a fake?? How do you prove he really isn’t a trans. Waste of police time and money. The law just shouldn’t be..FULLSTOP!!

          • gizmo23

            You don’t know now what sex someone is that is the entire point of being transgendered.

          • Sharon

            Yes..it is hard to know..and that is where someone’s safety can be compromised… and that is MY point.

      • Samuel F Waddell

        Another liberal who wants freedom for only his group but wants to deny it to people of a different opinion. It is such hypocrisy to here people speak of tolerance and be so intolerant of people who believe the Bible.

        • gizmo23

          You are free to believe whatever you want but actions are governed by law. You can be a nazi, commie, Christian, or whatever but in business you need to follow the law. Christians have no special rights that others don’t
          I do hope economic pressure will change this

          • Samuel F Waddell

            You are free to give other the freedom of Religion as the 1st Amendment gives and not to determine yourselves what that freedom is. Anyone can easily go somewhere else to someone who will make the cake or the flowers. But America has become NOT true America anymore. This issue is not the same as discriminating about race, marriage is a religious ceremony found in the Bible between one man ad one woman, the Supreme court should have know that. and homosexuality has never been proven to be something from birth. There is no genetic proof but more psychological and moral, If so why do they try to get straight men to come over to their way? Scripture is what it is and says what it says and it will never change because God never changes. And if true, which I believe with all my heart it is, that means that a lot of folks are in trouble if they do not repent and follow JESUS. But He does love every person and is giving them a chance to repent. I hope that you will.

          • gizmo23

            You use the same arguments as those that opposed equal rights for black people, “they can shop with their own kind”.
            Being a Christian or jewish is not genetic. Does that mean we should be able to discriminate against them in the business world?
            Culture defines what the Bible means in context of the culture.
            How dare you decide how much faith I have and what I believe. I would never attend your church if you judge people by what they say on a posting board

          • Samuel F Waddell

            NO, MARRIAGE IS A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY in the BIBLE and is between one man and one woman. If a committed Christian makes a cake for this or a Pastor is forced to perform, which will be the next step down the road, then they have violated their conscience before God and not simply man. You can support putting numbers of people out of business or even putting them in prison because that is where we are probably heading in the future. But that will be the former Soviet Union, which I am old enough to remember well, and not the USA that our Father’s founded. It is a religious issue so stop comparing it to race. A person cannot change their race but I know people who use to be homosexual , and are not now, and I have had homosexuals try to get me to do their deeds with them, I refused, so if it is a birth issue then why do they try to lure straight men to do it? We must keep our FREEDOM OF RELIGION period!

          • Quantz

            Marriage predates the Bible, and exists outside of Christianity.

          • Samuel F Waddell

            The Bible starts with the creation. And God made male and female at creation. MATTHEW 19:4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘?…I copied and pasted and part was capital. So do you respect CHRIST and His words? Here they are. If you believe that He is the Messiah and Son of Almighty God and God in the flesh then you believe that He is the creator as stated in JOHN 1:1-2. so then He is the authority on how He created man, male and female. Which should be obvious and marriage as He states in these verses is between a male and female not two of the same sex. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their sin and one of the major one’s was homosexual sex. This is where it is first mentioned in the Bible but there are many other verses which show that it is a sin. Romans 1:24-32 in the N.T. and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, the book of Jude 1:7. Look these verses up online. O.T. leviticus 18:22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” and more. You may uses the defense that you do not believe in the Bible but the answer is that doesn’t change the truth of it or the fact that it is still God’s Word and Christians believe that . So you see we have religious reasons for not getting involved in gay marriage. It is a freedom of Religion issue and not one of bigotry. If the people did not ask them to serve a gay wedding then there would be no problem unless they asked s=us to do something else that scripture calls Ungodly.

          • gizmo23

            So now we make laws that have no basis in fact? Where has any preacher been forced to marry a couple against their will? Nowhere ever. Pure fear mongering. If freedom of religion means hurting others then it needs to end.
            BTW where is the marriage ceremony in the Bible and the wedding rings, which are pagan, are not also

          • Samuel F Waddell

            It is the Christian’s who are being hurt and prosecuted not homosexuals. In my life, and I am now 60, I do not remember anyone hurting a homosexual. They were hurting themselves. But I know of people who were raped by homosexuals. I spoke with a young man a few years ago that was. The only thing that a True Christian will do is tell the homosexual that they must repent and follow JESUS which is the same for us all. We must repent ( turn from our sin to Christ and be born again ) or we will perish in hell as JESUS LOVINGLY WARNED US ALL. in Luke 13:1-5. So I pray that you will repent and follow JESUS. Which is far more important than this discussion. A society makes or changes laws according to their morals or lack thereof. In America’s case, the lack thereof. First, Prayer and Bible reading banned from schools in 1962-63. Abortion 1973. Now gay marriage and the mixed bathrooms 2015-16. What will be next? Lowing the age of consentual sex so pedophiles can do their sin legally? Sweden, one of the first to legalize all this, now has a group lobbying for incest and necrophilia. Sin goes down, down, down until it reaches Judgment in the eternal flames of hell that was prepared for satan and his fallen angels and now those who follow suit. JESUS is the only hope and way of saving a sinners from themselves. He save me so he can you as well.

          • gizmo23

            I know of many students that were bullied because others thought they were gay.
            Again you seem to think you know who i am and what I believe. Do you have some special psychic powers or do you judge people by their postings?

          • Samuel F Waddell

            Probably so. People are bullied for being many things and just about everything, I was and had to fight when I was young before I was a born again and that is just the sinful world, and now people are bullied in America for Follow CHRIST and Believing the Bible to be the Word of God. So who will speak up for them? will you? Or are just for gay rights? Christians are beheaded in the middle east and the North of Nigeria. I am a missionary in Nigeria but from America. Many Americans have chosen gays rights over religious freedom. Both could probably operate if the LGBT were not so radical. There was no problem until marriage, which is a holy institution to believers, was brought into the picture and this new bathroom idea. But that is the way thing are happening and Scripture has predicted the evil of the last days. Men will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. 2 Timothy 3:4. So it is being fulfilled right before our eyes.

          • gizmo23

            How does giving someone rights take yours away? No one is practucing anyone from practicing their faith in the USA.?
            If you think interracial narriage is wrong don’t marry them. Hate Jews don’t talk to them. Thinks Catholics are evil, don’t associate with them are go to their church. Think gays are sinful avoid them (along with all other sinners). No one will stop you from any of these practices.
            However enter the public business world and you must follow the laws. Everyone has rights and it doesn’t matter if you don’t like them. I detest smoking but would defend your right to do so. It is not my job to be the moral police as long as someone doesn’t hurt others

          • Samuel F Waddell

            Have you not kept up and read about the people who are being sued for large sums of money, and even put out of business, simply because they do not wish to be involved in any way with the gay marriage ceremony?

          • gizmo23

            Then they need to change the law or quit doing business. No church has been forced to do a ceremony or open their doors to to anyone they don’t want in. Business is another matter

          • Samuel F Waddell

            Please stay on the subject. Stop referring to interracial marriage and other topics, There is nothing in the Bible against this. Jews are God’s chosen people though whom He brought Christ. They rejected Him but they are not trying to force me to do the same. Catholics vs. Protestant is a different issue as well. You make too many assumptions. We are referring to a marriage ceremony between two people of the same sex, which cannot produce a child, which has no reference in history. Even Chief Justice Alto said it didn’t when they were debating it last year. The Romans nor the Greeks, who had homosexuals, didn’t have marriage between them. So now people just expect everyone to bow compliantly before the new golden calf of gay marriage? If people have true convictions then they stand for them. Many people do not believe in this and I am one and we foresee many problems for it. We do not believe on Biblical grounds and religious beliefs so the strategy is to make us into bigots and convince society that we are bad people, when our conscience is tied to Scripture. You should be able to see though this.

          • gizmo23

            Your scripture may not be someone else’s . No one is hurt in gay marriage. You are the one that brought up bathrooms and religious freedom. Freedom for you and no one else.
            I don’t care what the Romans or Greeks thought this is 2016

          • Samuel F Waddell

            Well that is your choice but there is still time to change if you will truly come to Christ now. If we want JESUS love then we must surrender to His Lordship in repentance and be changed. He has the power to do so and He loves you. But you must make the choice to repent, homosexuality is a sin like many others but it is also different in the fact that those involved seem to identify with it and hold to it instead of recognizing it as a destructive sinful lifestyle and turning to Christ for help. I know people who once were homosexual but today they are serving CHRIST and not living that way any more. I hope and pray that you will come to Him before it is too late. All these things are just signs of the times and will not, probably, change until CHRIST returns and ends evil.

          • gizmo23

            I am not gay so I don’t know what you want me to change

          • Samuel F Waddell

            We must get into God’s Word and see the truth there as JESUS told us. Our minds should not be influenced by the world but the Word of God and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Romans 12:1-2. I just encourage you. Here is one example: HEBREWS 10:26-27
            If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
            Comments: as we see in this verse we as believers must not continue deliberately living in sin. We must turn to CHRIST and He is not in sin but in holiness. If we draw near to Him then He will cleanse us. Repentance is what JESUS wants for us. Everyone sins at times, we must confess our sins and turn from them and not just live a deliberate lifestyle of sin. This is why these modern issue are so important because we are dealing with eternal souls. God’s grace is given to the humble and the repentant. We cannot earn it but we must turn to CHRIST for His mercy and grace and away from the wickedness of the world.

          • gizmo23

            How can a faith with thousands of churches and media outlets be persecuted? It seems we always need an enemy to keep people living in fear as it keeps the pews and collection plate filled. I want no part of those anti Christ activities. If the church is failing culture it is because it is weak and following its created false dogma. Quit blaming othrrs for your own failings, look at what you are doing first and remmber you reap what you sow. Live in fear die in fear.
            How does trying to hurt others bring people to your side? It would be nice if Christians followed Christ instead of self centered political preachers trying to make a buck off people’s hatred and fear

        • Sharon

          To those who want to ‘hear’. There has never been a time in history (that we know of) where homosexuality has been deemed as ‘right’ or ‘natural’. No laws to allow marriage between 2 men etc. ( sodom and G were active..and how did THAT work out for them??). So ask yourself ‘why now all of a sudden’?? Is there something more to this?? OF COURSE THERE IS!! It is the end times and if you can’t even ‘see’ what is happening around the world then you need to start praying my friends..as the time is on us now.
          LOOK…at all the things that are written…the great falling away from God, the earthquakes, the sun getting hotter, nation rising against nation, LAWLESSNESS, the love of man growing cold, how the people will be..ie..adulterers/murderers/lovers of themselves/greedy etc. Then to come, the ‘big mountain on fire crashing into the ocean’ is a meteor..the ‘stars falling from heaven..’..comets. It is time and, as God has described, it will be an horrific time that has ‘never been before or will never be again..’ It is described how the ‘elements will melt from the fierce heat…the eyes will melt from their sockets and their tongues from their mouths. What do you think the ‘lakes of burning fire are’?? LAVA from the earth’s stress. ‘The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give off it’s light’. Are you ‘hearing’ this?? Have you ever seen the vids on what happens to the earth when a comet hits??..and yet it is already described in the Bible!! He is a Time traveller..the Master of Time, how do you think He was able to have these things written down for us??
          Let me show you one thing..ie..’He bowed the heavens and come down’. That is a verse that many have looked at yet not even understood. To ‘bow’ is to bend..the ‘heavens’ is space. He is speaking of space bending!! Something the earth praises Einstein for, yet it was written about and ACTIVE thousands of years ago. Then that opens up the verse ‘with the Lord a day can be a thousand years and a thousand years can be a day…’ more Time manipulation!! Another?? ‘With the Lord, a thousand years can be as a watch in the night..’ There is so much knowledge in that Book that the dark ones are pulling people away from…’they’ know!! There is so much more other than this little world here on earth..a whole other world up there that anyone can be a part of…if you only get right with God…not take Him out of the equation as the world is trying to do now!! WAKE UP!!

      • getstryker

        And I hope that the politicians and the corporate supporters of these ridiculous ‘bathroom’ laws will feel the ‘boycott’ of their products and services . . . these are the kinds of asinine laws that are rousing the ‘sleeping giant’ that is millions of Christian and conservative Americans . . . what may be ‘politically correct’ today will be the ‘death knell’ of politicians and LGBT supporting businesses across America – Rise Up America!

      • Ryan J Brown

        That might work in the north, Mississippi is in the south where the Bible still matters.

        • gizmo23

          That’s why they are in the top 5 for unwed mothers, murders, poverty and lack of education. They are also number one in welfare.
          The Bible must not matter much

          • Ryan J Brown

            Must be that war on white middle class that told women that they are sexually free and there are no consequences for out of wedlock births.

  • SSGT_Randolph

    If you’re a so-called Christian business owner, why don’t you just post appropriate signage in your shop window that clearly communicates to the public that you do not offer services for same-sex weddings? Is that so difficult?

  • Peter Leh

    I don;t see how this can hold up from the business regulation side.

    Imagine a world were one may refuse service based on religious conviction of another race? Sex? Religion?

    • acontraryview

      I think you also have a significant issue with elected officials – county clerks and judges in particular. To allow them to not perform the sworn duties of their job based upon their personal religious beliefs is simply not defensible.

      • gizmo23

        He was a nut but I miss afchief

      • Peter Leh

        they perform their duties based on their duties…. not withhold service due to american citizens based on religious beliefs.

        believe me yo don’t want to live in that world.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Thank God!! There is freedom in some American states. Same-sex ceremonies are like Satan worship services to the Christians and to other religious peoples. There is no liberty if Christians cannot live according to the Holy Bible and a clean conscience. Liberty and universal literacy were established in the Western civilization for free access to the Holy Bible and living according to the Holy Bible and a clear conscience and NEVER for submission to well-fed rich pervs in secular West. All Americans must remember that. Society’s sexual immorality ruins children. The Western culture must not become so abusive and suicidal. The West needs Christianity for obtaining life.

    • Paige Turner

      What appalling things to say about other loving humans in the name of religion. Truly shameful

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Truth is truth. The Western culture is a mere sexual perversion when it has no Christianity. Please know yourself. You guys need Christianity for sanity, morality, human rights, liberty, and equality. Stop placing racial equality upon the sexual depravity. Being colored is God’s creation but sexual immorality is willful sin. You Post-christian Westerners must really give up racism and the sick sexual decadence.

        • Guest

          American forefathers were atheists, Deists, agnostics, Jewish, Quakers and Christian. Again, why are you even concerned with the United States? You do realize your ethnic hatred has no place here, right?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            They were ALL educated by the Christian Church and British Christian thinkers. Americans know no other. Know your origin. You’d have been just another illiterate savages if you had no Christian churches.

      • Amos Moses

        Sorry, i find nothing in any state marriage law about who loves who being of any standard as to who can marry and who can’t.

        • Paige Turner

          Its called human dignity. You should try it sometime.

          • Amos Moses

            Still can find nothing in law about love being the standard of marriage. Not even a mention of human dignity.

          • Amos Moses

            Ivy League Professor Calls For Vulgar Display By LGBT Activitists

            A researcher and a professor from Harvard University called for a national “pee-in” movement by LGBT activists

            Human dignity…………….yeah, right.

          • Paige Turner

            The things that are going on in your head are truly alarming. One randomly made up story condemns an entire group. Your lack of logic and intelligence is staggering.

          • Amos Moses

            http://dailycaller. (Remove This Space) com/2016/04/06/harvard-professor-calls-for-national-lgbt-rainbow-pee-in/

            A researcher and a professor from Harvard University called for a national “pee-in” movement by LGBT activists to protest the recent LGBT bills in North Carolina and Mississippi.

            The article, published in a pro-LGBT magazine Wednesday, is written by Harvard Professor of law Bruce Hay and Mischa Haider, a researcher who describes herself as a “trans activist.” The pair call on transgender people to proudly go into the restroom opposite their anatomical gender at birth, regardless if they look like their new gender, all to make a statement.

            From The Advocate, written by BY MISCHA HAIDER AND BRUCE HAY
            APRIL 06 2016 5:32 AM EDT:
            http://www.advocate. (Remove This Space) com/commentary/2016/4/06/time-national-pee-movement
            Collectively and openly, in their rainbow of appearances, they should enter gendered spaces in defiance of the segregationists. The movement needs a ground campaign, a peaceful series of “pee-ins” across the nation that will bring a face and an image to this struggle. Americans need to know that trans people exist and use facilities like any other person, and should not be intimidated or threatened for the way they look. The nation needs to see the diversity of transgender identities safely and peacefully using gendered facilities and standing up to threats to their humanity. They should understand that existence and acceptance of people born with nonconforming bodies is not what threatens the peace and safety of our society, but the violent threats and actions of those who cannot tolerate human difference.

            Bruce Hay, Professor of Law – Havard Law – http://hls.harvard. (Remove this space) edu/faculty/directory/10374/Hay

          • Paige Turner

            You should definitely go to this. Its sounds right up your alley.

            Make sure you wear your hood with your white robes.

            Try and see the article for what it is not make silly judgements. The NC law is ridiculous and the protest relevant. Your obsession with peeing and bathrooms is very concerning.

          • Sharon

            Oh, when you don’t have an REAL answer..go on the personal attack…cowardly.

          • Paige Turner

            Ad hominem is the phrase you are looking for.

            Anyone can cut and paste garbage from the internet Sharon, even you sweetie.

            Perhaps read the article and understand how the protest works before jumping on the bandwagon. It makes you look foolish otherwise.

          • Sharon

            ‘Ad hominem is the phrase you are looking for.’
            No it wasn’t.

            ‘even you sweetie…’
            Don’t call me ‘sweetie’

            ‘It makes you look foolish otherwise’
            More personal attacks??

            Thankyou for just confirming what I had written 🙂

          • Paige Turner

            You don’t know what “ad hominem” means do you sweetie?

          • Sharon

            Yes I do…and again.. it is not a word I was wanting to use. I don’t like to sound pretentious.
            ..and again…don’t call me sweetie..
            ..and again…your patronising personal attacks have once again confirmed my original point…thankyou, at least, for that.
            Trolling isn’t my thing so I will not respond to you again.

          • Paige Turner

            Do you sweetie? Do you really know what “ad hominem” means?

            Or did you have to google it?

            Thanks for the laughs sweetie.

        • acontraryview

          Who suggested it was a standard?

          • Amos Moses

            Anyone who says things like “love wins”.

          • Sharon

            A lot of people today don’t even know the meaning of the Word love…lust is more like it…living in self gratification and lusts. I love my relatives but I don’t have ‘relations’ with them.

          • acontraryview

            Using the phrase “love wins” is not the same as saying that the standard for marriage laws is “who loves who”.

          • Amos Moses

            Sure…………

          • acontraryview

            I’m glad we agree.

          • Amos Moses

            Did not say that……….

          • acontraryview

            Sure: confident in what one thinks or knows; having no doubt that one is right.

            You’re response to my post indicates agreement. Unless, of course, you attempting to use sarcasm, rather than providing anything of substance.

          • Amos Moses

            “Unless, of course, you attempting to use sarcasm,”

            There you go………….next time i will put a /sarc for you.

          • Amos Moses

            Oh, and Paige.

          • acontraryview

            Given the subject of the article and the content of Grace’s comment, to suggest that Paige’s reply amounts to suggesting that the legal standard for marriage is “who loves who” is without merit.

        • Sharon

          Doesn’t sound like God would approve that ‘law’…

          Romans 1:26-27

          26 Because of this, God gave them over to
          shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for
          unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations
          with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful
          acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their
          error.

          31 Without understanding, covenant breakers,
          without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who, knowing the judgment
          of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the
          same, but applaud them that do.

      • Barking Dawg

        They are not loving at all, they have sex in public restrooms. Plenty of data to back that up too, happens every day in America. People that vile do not deserve respect. That’s lower than animals.

        • gizmo23

          What an awful thing to say about southerners

          • Barking Dawg

            ..

        • Bezukhov

          Southerners commit incest in their outhouses.

      • Sharon

        Romans 1:26-27

        26 Because of this, GOD GAVE them OVER to
        shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for
        unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations
        with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful
        acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their
        error.

        31 Without understanding, covenant breakers,
        without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who, knowing the judgment
        of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the
        same, but APPLAUD them that do.

        • Paige Turner

          Thanks Sharon. What “shameful acts” are you talking about?

          All humans are guilty of “shameful acts” or does this only apply to gay people?

          • Sharon

            Yes!!

          • Paige Turner

            So you abide by everything in the bible and do everything it says?

    • gizmo23

      No Christian follows the Bible 100 percent

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        All true Christians applies the Holy Bible 100% because it is 100% God’s Word.

        • gizmo23

          Then there are no true Christians because we all sin

    • acontraryview

      LOL

    • Bezukhov

      Soon will see stories like this. When it happens it will bring a smile to your face, Grace.

      Firemen in Biblethumpville, Miss. refused to put out a fire at the home of Mr. Jones,
      a known Homosexual. “There be all sorts of Homosexual sinnin’ goin’ on
      in thar” was the fire marshal response when asked why nothing was done. Reports say two people died in the blaze.

      You know, because those firemen’s conscience decided it would be a sin to put out that fire.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Where is the news?

        • Bezukhov

          Sorry, see the edited comment. It’s a future tense thing. It hasn’t happened yet, but with laws like these, a distinct possibility.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Christian virtues alone rescue others unconditionally. Secularists kill unborn babies.

          • Bezukhov

            Well, sadly “Christian Virtues” is a rather nebulous term that varies between Christians. For example, there are those Christians who follow the precept to ‘love your enemies, other Christians want to carpet bomb or nuke their enemies.

  • Amos Moses

    And they thought it was all “settled”…………….. i guess all those states violating Federal laws about marijuana sales should watch out….

    • acontraryview

      What is no longer “settled”?

  • acontraryview

    Well that should survive until the first the legal challenge. Then, not so much.

  • Sharon_at_home

    I don’t understand why people need to push back at people who don’t agree with them. Are there not businesses that are not against the LGBT that can do the same as the ones that don’t want to? Why do they have to sue them for not doing a service that is available at other places? If it is the only place that does what they want, I can understand the business needing to ask forgiveness for aiding a person’s sin, but this works both ways. LGBT is just as capable of walking away and going to someone who has no problem doing the service for them. No one should be forced to do anything that is against their personal beliefs whether it’s religious or just their personal moral beliefs. You don’t have to be a Christian or Muslim (or any other faith) to not agree with the LGBT demands. Instead of suing to make people do something that they don’t want to do, find someone who will do it willingly.

    • Amos Moses

      Ivy League Professor Calls For Vulgar Display By LGBT Activitists

      A researcher and a professor from Harvard University called for a national “pee-in” movement by LGBT activists to protest the recent LGBT bills in North Carolina and Mississippi. The article, published in a pro-LGBT magazine Wednesday, is written by Harvard Professor of law Bruce Hay and Mischa Haider, a researcher who describes herself as a “trans activist.”

    • Jalapeno

      Instead of trying to run a business when you can’t handle the fact that some people don’t agree with your beliefs, why don’t you run a business that you can do willingly?

      If you open your business to the public, the public is under no obligation to give a person special treatment for their beliefs. If you can do the job, great. If you can’t..you don’t belong in that business.

      • Sharon_at_home

        That doesn’t explain why LGBT can’t go to another business to be served. By going to a facility that has told you it’s beyond their beliefs, they should go to one that will. Accepting that there are LGBT people, is no different than accepting people of different faiths, but we are not forced to accept the different religions, only tolerate them. With the LGBT everyone is forced to “accept them or else” – with else being that they will be sued. Accept they don’t want to serve you, and move on. Kind of like the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” at restaurants. either you put those things on, or you move on to a place that will allow it.

        • Jalapeno

          No, you only need to tolerate them.

          Why should society have to give special treatment to people just because they can’t be tolerant?

          • Sharon_at_home

            There are all sorts of people in the world and being tolerant of people you find offensive is the way people generally live. If everyone that was offended by someone else sued them for one reason or another, there would be a problem.
            The point I was trying to make is that being forced to accept anything is not reasonable. the people who refuse service are not rude or violent against the people that they turn away; they apologize and send them on their way. Why is it so important that everyone accept everyone? we have always gotten along without being forced into situations we are not comfortable with.
            I’d still like to know why these people that were refused service can’t go on to another place that provides the same service. To a lot of people it appears that they just want to screw the person that refused you instead of just accepting that some people aren’t tolerant and moving on to someone who is tolerant. Makes more sense, and is much simpler all around.

          • Jalapeno

            You aren’t forced to accept them. You’re expected to do the job, just like a religious person would be if they were against another person’s religion.

            I’m sure in some cases they could go someplace else and sometimes they might not have options. There is no reason for society to pamper someone like that though. If you can’t handle serving customers just because you don’t like one of their traits, you don’t belong in business.

          • Sharon_at_home

            No, you are forced to accept what you don’t believe in to serve them. I think there would be a lot less businesses – including good businesses – if it was serve them or give up your profession.
            All I’m saying is that they don’t have to screw the people who refuse them. When a person calls you names, do you sue them? or do you walk away and not associate with them. Whether it’s a business or not, people should have the right to say no.
            Perhaps the way to get beyond this is to post a sign that says they have the right to refuse service to anyone. I’ve never heard of someone suing a place with that sign, although – I’ve never looked it up either.
            So you believe you should pamper one set of people, but not another then? By allowing LGBT to sue someone who doesn’t agree with that “trait”, isn’t that allowing them to sue someone because ;they don’t like their “trait” of standing up for their religion? It works both ways when it comes to pampering. Just walk away and find someone else, and don’t make someone’s life miserable because they refused you service.

          • Jalapeno

            How is doing your job pampering someone?

            Disagreeing with them is one thing. Refusing to do your job is another.

            Why is that such a difficult distinction to understand?

          • Sharon_at_home

            Why is going to another place of the same business so difficult to do? I was taught as a child that not everyone is going to like you, but that’s ok because others will like you. If you go to a business and discuss how you want something done, and decide you don’t want to do business with them after all, going to another business is the way it’s done.
            When there IS another place of business that will serve you, why do you have to sue a place that refused you?
            Personally I don’t think the business that refuses business should be made to explain. that way you can’t be sued for people who can’t tolerate your standards any more than the people who can’t tolerate the people they are refusing the business to.
            Lots of businesses run differently that other businesses of the same service. It’s not “not doing your job” it’s choosing to stand up for the standards that you have based your business on. Anyone else does it, and they are not sued because it’s not about religion. These lawsuits are about personal beliefs within the business against the personal beliefs of the LGBT. I have not heard about a person suing because they were refused service without knowing why, only that they were refused because they are LGBT. Everyone else seems to be able to look for someone else to do business with.
            As far as I’m concerned the LGBT’s are being pampered about everything and the common man has no rights when it comes to having to do what they have always done without the hassles. I think the LGBT community is making things worse for the acceptance by doing this when it’s not necessary. Who wants to do business with someone that might disagree with you and sue you?
            I don’t think LGBT rights should supersede everyone else’s rights, whether it’s about business or just life.

            Suing someone for refusing service that you are able to find at another business is just suing because you want to make that persons life miserable. Not everyone is going to like you, whether you are LGBT or not.

          • Jalapeno

            Everyone has the same rights against discrimination. It’s not just a LGBT thing.

            Seriously though. You do not need to like people to do business with them. No one is under any delusion that people are going to stop being homophobic anytime soon.

            People are expected to do their job still. If they’re immoral enough to lie about why they’re refusing service, and smart enough to get away with it then they can go ahead with being bigoted. Otherwise, society is under no obligation to let them get away with it.

          • Sharon_at_home

            Why not let them live their life (get away with it) when it causes you no problem except your feelings were hurt. That’s what has been happening for years.
            If they have a sign with “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” can they be sued for it? do they have to point out why they are not serving them? No. they don’t because the sign is there forewarning everyone that it might happen.
            No one should lose their business, their homes, etc. because they stood up for their beliefs. but that is what is happening. I’m tired of one group of people being given their rights over everyone elses so they can ruin their lives.
            We obviously don’t agree and probably won’t so I’m ending this. not because you are necessarily right – but because I’m tired of trying to explain my point of view. you say the same thing over and over – that’s it about doing their job but I believe it’s because they want to make someones life miserable. God bless you!

          • Jalapeno

            Sure..they can lie about it all they want. Taking the moral high ground, of course.

            Why should they be able to expect to have people they don’t like leave? Why shouldn’t they be expected to do their job instead of discriminating against people based on protected traits?

            ” I’m tired of one group of people being given their rights over everyone elses so they can ruin their lives. ”

            No..they’re just not getting special treatment.

          • Sharon_at_home

            So they get special treatments, but no one else does. Yeah that’s fair and equal – which is what the LGBT community say they want. no one should get special treatment if that’s what this is.
            I don’t count not telling someone why you won’t serve them as a lie. It is usually done to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
            if you had a party and someone came that you don’t like, wouldn’t you want them to leave. why should they be forced to do their job when it’s against their business standards, especially when there are other businesses that will. I’m just against the way that they sue people and destroy their lives for standing up for their personal standards. I would be against that no matter what the problem is. Life should not be about ‘getting’ the other guy. It should be able getting along and sometimes that mean you have to go to someone else. Every account I’ve read about has said the person was apologetic and at least some offered the name of another business that wouldn’t have a problem serving them. They aren’t trying to be mean, they just want to stand up for what they believe in. It’s the same as LGBTs wanting equality and fairness. They are standing up for their beliefs and so are the people who stand up for their beliefs and won’t serve them because of those beliefs.
            I live by the golden rule: treat people the way you want to be treated. They treated the people with good manners which is what they would want to be treated. By suing someone for disagreeing with you, you are not treating them the way you want to be treated. you wouldn’t want to be sued over a disagreement either.
            FYI I won’t be answering any more of these posts.I’ve got better things to do with my time.
            That’s it. God bless!

          • Jalapeno

            “So they get special treatments, but no one else does”

            Sure..sure..go ahead, I won’t be heartbroken if you don’t respond.

            You should probably realize though that LGBT people are not getting special treatment. You have the exact same protections, they just aren’t needed because people tend to not get discriminated against for being straight.

            I live by the golden rule too. I wouldn’t expect somebody to walk away when I break the law because I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to me.

  • Amos Moses

    Ivy League Professor Calls For Vulgar Display By LGBT Activitists

    A researcher and a professor from Harvard University called for a national “pee-in” movement by LGBT activists to protest the recent LGBT bills in North Carolina and Mississippi.

    Yes, such a “reasonable” and “loving” and “tolerant” response to being told which bathroom they may or may not use……………….. so full of “human dignity”.

    i told you we would need more fire hydrants.

    • http://biblewordstudy.org Adam in Christ

      Spirit of Sodom…

      • Sharon

        The spirit of lust..most of them will not be God fearing either as God said that He would ‘leave them to their own minds…’

    • Nidalap

      Ah, the old Brown Shirts program. Maybe yellow, in this instance. 🙂

      • Amos Moses

        Could turn to brown i guess. Ewwww.

  • Fee

    May God bless Gov. Phil Bryant abundantly! We need more like him.