Many consider Miss. Religious Freedom Act discriminatory - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Many consider Miss. Religious Freedom Act discriminatory

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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Mississippi Senate Bill 2681 has been called the Religious Freedom's Act, but many LGBT groups in Mississippi are saying the bill is actually designed to legalize  discrimination against gay people.
 
READ: Amended Mississippi Senate Bill 2681

"I  don't believe it is going to hold up to a court challenge," said attorney Wesley Hisaw, who was speaking on the amended version of Mississippi Senate Bill 2681.

"The way it is written now it could be used is if someone filed a discrimination lawsuit which had to be enforced by the State," Hisaw added. "Someone could claim a religious reason why they permitted the discrimination and try to get an injunction against the state from enforcing a court order."

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Melanie Deas is with Tupelo-based Equality Mississippi, an LGBT rights group, said amending the bill made no difference.

"It is still a bad bill, there is some rewording that could be argued it makes it less discriminatory," Deas said. "But our belief is it made it more discriminatory as you change the language of religious burden."

There is thought by some that as the bill is worded it could legalize discrimination against anyone on religious grounds.

"It's not just the LGBT community, it really has an impact on everyone," Deas added.

"That is the big issue with it, it is so broad, the Baptists could discriminate against the Methodists or if someone had a bona fide religious belief that they didn't have to serve an African-American, it is opening up a never-ending nightmare for multiple lawsuits on multiple fronts," Hisaw added.

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