JACKSON, MS – Mississippi may soon have a new law that gay rights groups say they can’t get behind.
Governor Phil Bryant says he will sign the bill that allows citizens and businesses to challenge laws they believe conflict with their religious beliefs.
Opponents say the law could be used to refuse service to gays and minorities.
Hard lobbying by former ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass and gay rights supporters in recent weeks resulted in lawmakers amending the bill several times.
Even so, critics say the final version makes it okay to discriminate against gays, and they point to the Colorado cake-shop owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
Mississippi house speaker Philip Gunn, though, says the bill is pretty much like the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1993 that said the government had to have a really, really good reason to keep a person from exercising religious freedom.
At the time, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act had the support of not only the Christian Legal Society, but also the American Civil Liberties Union, proving that differing views can sometimes keep calm and come together.