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Mississippi law prompts businesses to show support for equality

‘We don’t discriminate’ campaign has distributed hundreds of stickers

Enactment of a religious freedom law in Mississippi has prompted businesses in the state to post stickers that read “We don’t discriminate” in support of the principle of equality. Credit: msbusiness.com

Enactment of a religious freedom law in Mississippi has prompted businesses in the state to post stickers that read “We don’t discriminate” in support of the principle of equality.

According to the Mississippi Business Journal, hundreds of businesses are posting the blue stickers as part of a campaign that was initiated after the state’s governor, Phil Bryant, signed off on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would allow businesses and individuals to refuse services on religious grounds. Dubbed the “Turn Away the Gays” bill, its opponents say it would effectively permit discrimination against LGBT people. 

The new law states, in part, that government “should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification.” The measure also seeks to “provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.”

The Journal quotes one business owner as saying that the law gives people permission to “discriminate against people they don’t necessarily agree with or like.” Eddie Outlaw believes the legislation is “just the death rattle” of conservative resistance to LGBT equality.

Mitchell Moore, who owns a bakery and describes himself as straight, Christian and conservative, told the Journal he is upset that Bryant and state legislators dare to speak on the business community’s behalf. 

The Mississippi law is similar to one that recently made it past Arizona’s legislature before being stopped in its tracks by the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, who vetoed it after facing mounting pressure from powerful corporate and political interests to do so.