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Judge Strikes Down Anti-LGBT Bill in Mississippi Hours Before It Becomes Law

ACLU Celebrates Decision in Cases Brought By Civil Rights Advocates

JACKSON, Miss. - In the early hours of the morning, a federal judge struck down the entirety of an anti-LGBT measure that was slated to become law today. The law would have allowed public officials and businesses to refuse to serve LGBT individuals. The ACLU and the ACLU of Mississippi challenged the constitutionality of HB1523 in a separate lawsuit, Alford v. Moulder.

ACLU of Mississippi Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins had this response:

“We are thrilled that Judge Reeves ruled on the right side of history in striking down House Bill 1523 and congratulate our allies who brought these cases. This is a huge victory for the state of Mississippi and the nation. The federal ruling clearly states that HB 1523 is unconstitutional, and now this discriminatory law that unfairly targeted LGBT people will not go into effect. One religious view of marriage should not preclude all others or federal law. 

“The Supreme Court made it clear one year ago that same-sex couples ought not be treated any differently than different-sex couples. HB 1523, on its face, created a separate system for our clients, Nykolas and Stephen, and for all LGBT Mississippians. That is discrimination, plain and simple.” 

“While we celebrate this win in the short term, the battle continues to secure full equal rights for LGBT people. The ACLU of Mississippi will continue to stand firmly against discrimination and in solidarity with the LGBT community. We remain vigilant in the fight for equality and justice for all.”

The two cases that were considered were Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, brought by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Mississippi Center for Justice. The ACLU and ACLU of Mississippi filed one of the other lawsuits brought to defeat HB1523, Alford v. Moulder. The suit targets the Registrar of Vital Records and was filed on behalf of ACLU of Mississippi members and Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas, a gay couple who are engaged to be married and face discrimination as a result of this law.

Read more about the ACLU’s case here: https://www.aclu.org/cases/alford-v-moulder

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