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Mississippi's New Law Lets Businesses Deny Service To LGBT Customers

Major corporations that employ thousands of people across the state have spoken out against the law.
Posted at 6:47 PM, Apr 05, 2016

Refusing to serve an LGBT customer because of religious beliefs will soon be legal in Mississippi.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed the controversial House Bill 1523 on Tuesday. He says it's designed to "prevent government interference in the lives of the people."

Dubbed the "religious freedom" bill, it protects three beliefs: Marriage is between a man and a woman, sex is "properly reserved to such a marriage," and gender is "objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at birth."

The new law — which is set to go into effect in July — protects private businesses, government employees, churches and religious charities from being punished for denying service based on those beliefs. 

Numerous groups in opposition of the bill claim it opens the door for discrimination against gays and lesbians. 

The president of the Human Rights Campaign said, "Gov. Phil Bryant adds his name to a growing list of disgraced Southern governors by signing this hateful and discriminatory bill into law."

One of those Southern governors he might be referencing is North Carolina’s Pat McCrory. He passed House Bill 2, dubbed the "bathroom bill," late last month.

In the handful of days since it was signed, the new law has been bad for business. Dozens of top executives from across the nation have denounced the "anti-LGBT law," and on Tuesday, PayPal scrapped plans to open an office in the Tar Heel State.

So will Mississippi see the same backlash? Probably. Major corporations that employ thousands of people across the state have spoken out against the law. 

This video includes images from Facebook and Getty Images.