Mississippi governor signs religious freedom law over objections from Apple, others

“Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Tuesday signed a far-reaching law allowing people with religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and protecting other actions considered discriminatory by gay rights activists,” Letitia Stein reports for Reuters. “The measure also clears the way for employers to cite religion in determining workplace policies on dress code, grooming and bathroom and locker access.”

“His decision comes amid national protests over a new law barring transgender people in North Carolina from choosing bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. The governors of Georgia and Virginia vetoed similar ‘religious liberty’ bills last week,” Stein reports. “The U.S. business community has been pushing back against such legislation. On Tuesday, PayPal Holdings Inc canceled plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina and invest $3.6 million in the area over its new law.”

“On a letter on March 29, founders and chief executives of more than a hundred companies, including Apple Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc urged North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to repeal the legislation,” Stein reports. “When the state legislature passed the measure last week, Representative Andy Gipson, a Republican sponsor, downplayed national media criticism and said the measure enjoyed wide support in the state. ‘It’s time that we stand up and do the work of the people and protect the freedoms that they enjoy,’ he said on Friday.”

Read more in the full article here.

“This bill states that it protects ‘sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions,’ including a belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman,” Mark Berman reports for The Washington Post. “It also says that a person’s gender is that ‘determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth’ and goes on to say that businesses can determine who is allowed to access bathrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms.”

“Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said in a statement that he was signing the bill ‘to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions,’ arguing that the new legislation is meant to allow people to exercise their religious freedom,” Berman reports. “‘This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizens of this state under federal or state laws,’ he said. Bryant added: ‘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.'”

Berman reports, “Mississippi’s new law is set to take effect in July.”

Read more in the full article here.

Carly Fiorina: Tim Cook’s opposition to Indiana religious freedom law hypocritical – April 6, 2015
Tim Cook forging unusual path as a social activist ‘on behalf of Apple’ – March 31, 2015
Does Apple risk blowback over Tim Cook’s gay rights activism? – March 30, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook says ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous – March 30, 2015
Tim Cook: Apple ‘deeply disappointed’ with Indiana’s new religious-objections law – March 27, 2015
Apple CEO Cook makes ‘substantial’ donation for gay rights activists in U.S. South – December 19, 2014
Alabama sexual orientation anti-discrimination bill to be named after Apple’s Tim Cook – December 4, 2014
Russian memorial to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dismantled after CEO Tim Cook announces he’s gay – November 3, 2014
Apple investors don’t care that Tim Cook is gay – October 31, 2014\
Goldman Sachs CEO: Apple’s Tim Cook coming out as gay ‘will resonate powerfully’ – October 31, 2014
Human Rights Campaign: Tim Cook’s announcement that he is gay will save countless lives – October 30, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me’ – October 30, 2014
Apple joins Gay Pride parade in Austin, Texas – September 21, 2014
Apple releases video highlighting employee participation in San Francisco’s LGBT Pride Parade – July 8, 2014
Tim Cook, Apple employees march in LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco – June 30, 2014
Apple inviting employees to march in annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade – May 7, 2014


  1. Ha ha! When I read that MDN posting–and I do read MDN, religiously!–I knew a plague of comments would break out. But let me tell you Christians who think you are number 1 and all people should live by your rules, and you Jews, and you Muslims, and you Buddhists (OK, not you Buddhists), you all better just cut it out right now! Otherwise I have a bag of locusts in my back pocket that are just screaming to get out. Cause fundamentally, you put way too much importance in Me! Take personal responsibility. Don’t use me as your excuse! I mean it about the locusts.

  2. It is quite depressing that all “recent” advances in civil liberties in the US are the result of litigation and not the result of legislation proposed and voted by the people’s representative. Americans should be ashamed this fact.

  3. It is quite depressing that all “recent” advances in civil liberties in the US are the result of litigation and not the result of legislation proposed and voted by the people’s representatives. Americans should be ashamed by this fact.

  4. It’s interesting to note that the science that allows this online conversation to happen depends on the fact that the Bible is not the literal truth.

  5. We do not live in a theocracy despite the wishes of many who claim to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth.

    If you operate a business open to the public you must serve the public. Over time, southerners will figure out that they cannot deny GLBT people service just as they could not deny African-Americans service years ago.

    I work in healthcare in a licensed profession and have to take all who come my way no matter who or what they are. Criminals, criminal suspects, politicians, drunks, addicts, the terminally messed up, the violent, the hostile and plain old crazy all get treated well and in the most respectful way possible- that is the deal in the medical professions.

    What makes some person with a bakery think their god will condemn them to hell for baking a cake for a same sex couple, or renting them a room, or serving them dinner…

    I am an agnostic but was raised in the Christian faith and know that Jesus taught grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, charity, peace and love for all. When asked what was most important he told his disciples that second only to loving god that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That statement was made without qualification for sex, sexual identity or sexual orientation.

    I sincerely wish that those who claim to follow Christ would listen to what he taught and apply it to their lives and conduct toward others. That is from an agnostic.

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