On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit lifted an injunction that had been imposed on a Mississippi law crafted to shield from government discrimination those citizens who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that gender is determined biologically at birth. The court ruled that those challenging the law had not shown they had been or would be harmed by it.
Alliance Defending Freedom is participating in the defense of this law, similar in purpose to the federal First Amendment Defense Act. ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot welcomed the ruling and said:
The sole purpose of this law is to ensure that Mississippians don’t live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union. Those who filed suit have not and will not be harmed but want to restrict freedom and impose their beliefs on others by ensuring dissenters are left open to the government discrimination that has already occurred in states without protective laws like this one.
Similarly, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) said, “As I have said all along, the legislation is not meant to discriminate against anyone, but simply prevents government interference with the constitutional right to exercise sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Those challenging the law have indicated that they intend to appeal.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: June 23, 2017