(Think Progress) -- Mississippi is now in competition with North Carolina for having the most anti-LGBT law on the books. Tuesday morning, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed HB 1523 into law, endorsing a veritable catalog of discrimination against LGBT people and even those who have sex before marriage.
“This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizen of this state under federal or state laws,” Bryant claimed in a statement. “The legislation is designed in the most targeted manner possible to prevent government interference in the lives of the people from which all power to the state is derived.”
What that means is that almost any imaginable form of discrimination against same-sex couples, people who identify as transgender, or anyone who has had non-marital sex is now protected behavior under the law, so long as the discriminating individual has a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” Most notably, this includes shelter provided by religious organizations, any form of pro-LGBT counseling or medical support, any employer’s dress code or bathroom regulations, and any business related to the recognition of any marriage.
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