The state of Mississippi now faces a third lawsuit challenging House Bill 1523, also known as the religious freedom protection act. MPB's Mark Rigsby reports.
The Mississippi Center for Justice filed the latest lawsuit. The new law is designed to protect government workers and others who recuse themselves from offering services based on their religious belief or moral conviction. The center's advocacy director, Beth Orlansky, says the law targets the LGBT community.
"We felt compelled to jump into this fight challenging the law because of the harm that it has on people because of who they are, what they're sexual identity is, who they love," says Orlansky.
The law comes in response to the Kim Davis case in Kentucky last year. Davis, a county clerk, refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple based on her religious objection, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal. While he was unavailable to comment on the lawsuit, Republican Representative Andy Gipson, of Rankin County, has defended the law.
"When we lose our right to believe, what to believe, we're not free anymore. That's all this bill does. It protects people of faith from discrimination," says Gipson.
The Campaign for Southern Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union have also sued to keep the law from going into effect July 1st.