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Tennessee - HB 1840/SB 1556(Became law April 27, 2016): Allows those providing professional services to deny those services based on religious beliefs.9.Utah - SB 297Exempts state officials from having to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama have pursued similar measures this session.
Michigan - HB 4188, HB 4189 and HB 4190Allows adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.7.
Mississippi - HB 1523(Became law April 5, 2016): Allows government officials and businesses to deny services to gay couples wishing to get married.8.
Theriot argues that if the 5th Circuit upholds HB 1523, it will only be enforcing existing law, but if it is struck down, "obviously that would go against years, decades of precedent."Erik Fleming, ACLU of Mississippi director of policy, said the benefits of the 5th Circuit upholding Judge Reeves' decision goes beyond a legally binding decision."I would believe that any judicial action that strikes down a discriminatory law would provide a road map for other lawyers …
to be able to challenge that kind of legislation," Fleming said. Supreme Court to take up this kind of legal challenge at this time. HB 1523 is one bill in a wave of similar legislation proposed or adopted across the country in the last few years.
In 2015, Arkansas began prohibiting local bodies from creating anti-discrimination policies for characteristics not recognized by state law, and Indiana enacted a law allowing lawsuits against public policies, like nondiscrimination laws, that substantially burdened someone's religious beliefs.
Michigan enacted a law allowing adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to provide services that would conflict with their religious beliefs.
The Texas Legislature proposed and is still mulling SB 6 this year, which would require schools to adopt policies requiring transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex, not their gender identity.
Rob Mc Duff, the local civil rights attorney representing several plaintiffs against HB 1523, said because Mississippi's bill is so much "more extreme" than other states', the outcome of its legal challenge is unlikely to dictate the fate of other LGBT-targeting laws.
The people of Mississippi have the right to ensure that all of our citizens are free to peacefully live and work without fear of being punished for their sincerely held beliefs.
And as governor, it is my duty to uphold my oath to defend the people of Mississippi and the laws passed by those entrusted to represent them," he said in a statement Wednesday. House Bill 1523 is one bill in a wave of similar legislation proposed or adopted across the country in the last few years.
These legal questions are still fresh for the courts, and even a slight tweak in the law's wording can alter the outcome of any particular case, said constitutional law expert and Mississippi College of Law professor Matt Steffey.