Sunday, May 1, 2016

"Religious Freedom" Bill Affects Oxford, Mississippi

The Protective Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, or HB 1523, was signed into a law by Governor Phil Bryant on April 6. 

Courtesy to:
The new law allows businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community as long as they claim it is to protect their religious beliefs. This includes firing or denying them jobs, denying them housing, denying them necessary medical procedures, and refusing to provide business services or engage in business relations with them. "Them" could be anybody that not only is LGBT, but also anyone who does not identify or present themselves as their birth gender.

In a state where discriminatory attitude is a major part of its history, many are calling the new law a modern-day Jim Crow situation. Many celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, have spoken out about Mississippi and in particular the law's prejudice vernacular. 

The already typically negative perception that many hold of Mississippi's acceptance of minority communities has been tainted even more. Many Oxford businesses have spoken out about their opposition to the law in hopes that the tourist town will not be defeated by the law. The Oxford Chamber of Commerce is also doing what they can to help with the perception of Oxford and overall, Mississippi.

Baylee Mozjesik has more on that story.

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