Mississippi Anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Law To Take Effect This Week

Mississippi's infamous "religious freedom" law is expected to take effect this week.

Under the enacted House Bill 1523, the state vows not to punish people who refuse to provide goods or services to LGBT persons, or people who have had extramarital sex.

According to WTVA-NBC:

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a rehearing on a lawsuit attempting to block state House Bill 1523.

This ruling allows the bill to take affect in Mississippi Friday, October 6th.

Attorneys have said they will appeal to take the bill up to the Supreme Court.

More from The Clarion-Ledger:

Jackson civil rights attorney Rob McDuff called the law unfair and unconstitutional. "People should not have to live through discrimination in order to challenge it,” McDuff said.

The three-judge panel of the appellate court ruled the plaintiffs in the case, the Campaign for Southern Equality, lacked standing to bring the challenge.

MCDuff said Monday they will ask the 5th Circuit to keep the law from going into effect while they appeal to the Supreme Court.

The 5th Circuit granting such a request is rare, McDuff acknowledge, "but we are going to make the request." 

McDuff didn't have a firm timetable, but expects an appeal to be filed in about two weeks to the Supreme Court.

The 5th Circuit didn't address the constitutionality of the law.

Said Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal:

“We are appealing to our nation’s highest court to make sure that attempts by state legislatures to defy the law of the land and trample the rights of LGBT people are blocked for good.

“Mississippi’s HB 1523 creates a toxic environment of fear and prejudice. Along with other anti-LGBT laws across the country like those in North Carolina and Texas, these laws are a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing, dressing up discrimination and calling it religious freedom.”