I thought I was living in the land of the free….

By: Alisa lindsey

Mississippi legislators passed a controversial religious freedom bill on April 1, 2014 that could allow state residents to sue over laws they say place substantial burden on their religious practices. The question that remains is, how would this affect those in the gay and lesbian community? The law for gays and lesbians to be married is not passed in many states due to religious factors. They say that same-sex marriage is against what the Bible says and therefore it should not be granted to anyone. However, this bill that has passed contradicts the First Amendment. 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. (http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1/amendment.html). The questions are still in the air on how will this affect the gay community as well as the First Amendment. They are also still trying to see if they can add “In God We Trust,” into the bill. However, everyone who is religious does not believe in God, therefore this bill once again can conflict with the freedom of religion. The purpose of the bill is “the ability to act or the refusal to act in a manner that is substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.” (http://christiannews.net/2014/04/03/mississippi-lawmakers-pass-religious-freedom-restoration-act/). The final call on the bill will come from Governor Phil Bryant, who everyone is expecting to sign the bill into law. This bill is not only in Mississippi, a total of 18 states, including Louisiana, are looking forward to passing the bill as well.

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