‘Anti-sodomy’ Christian group helped write most of Mississippi’s anti-LGBT law, Governor admits
A hardline Christian group that battled to keep state sodomy laws helped draft Mississippi’s controversial ‘religious freedom’ law, the state’s Governor has admitted.
The Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant signed a new law in April that enables discrimination against LGBT people – ignoring pleas from business leaders in the state.
The law goes even further than most – even permitting people to discriminate based on sexual orientation in “any employment-related decision” and “any decision concerning the sale, rental, [or] occupancy of a dwelling” as long as it’s based on “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction”.
But in a shocking (if unsurprising) revelation this week, Bryant has admitted that the law was mostly drafted by hardline anti-LGBT group Alliance Defending Freedom.
The notorious Christian group has opposed same-sex weddings, gay adoptions, civil unions, and even the repeal of Sodomy laws – strongly opposing the 2003 Supreme Court decision to strike down state laws banning gay sex.
Though other US-based groups have moved away from the overt ‘anti-Sodomy’ agenda, ADF continues to peddle its wares overseas, and was caught waging a campaign to keep gay sex illegal in Belize.
Governor Bryant admitted the group’s involvement to the Clarion-Ledger, describing their involvement as “perfectly normal”.
He said: “We appreciate the Alliance Defending Freedom working with the Legislature to draft House Bill 1523.
“It is perfectly normal for our office to work with individuals and organisations, who have had a role in requesting and/or opposing legislation, during the bill review process to gather additional information.”
The group even helped Bryant write the speech he gave upon signing the law.
It comes after emails obtained by attorney Robbie Kaplan, who is suing over the state’s law, exposed that the ADF had been responsible for providing “model” laws that form the substance of what was passed in HB 1523.
Kaplan contends that the law violates the ban on establishment of religion, as it only protects certain religious views that coincide with Christianity – having been drafted by an openly Christian group.