Protesters call for Mississippi Senate to veto House Bill 1523 (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
FT. LAUDERDALE (April 5, 2016) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) joins community leaders and advocates for LGBT equality across the nation in condemning the Mississippi Senate’s passage of HB 1523, “The Religious Liberty Accommodations Act”, legislation that would allow virtually anyone—including religious organizations, employers, businesses, foster care/adoption agencies, housing institutions, healthcare organizations, clergy, and even governmental officials—to discriminate against LGBT people in the name of “religious liberty.”
With the Senate voting on Wednesday to pass HB 1523, the Mississippi state legislature has taken yet another dangerous step towards writing discrimination into state law following the House voting 80-39 in February to pass the bill. At its core, HB 1523 is a divisive, mean-spirited initiative to marginalize the LGBT community in the name of religion.
“These misguided efforts by lawmakers to pass blatantly discriminatory legislation does nothing to promote equality for all Mississippians and would have far-reaching negative implications for how LGBT people are treated throughout the state,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “We call on Governor Bryant to take the same level of principled leadership exhibited by his colleagues in other states and veto this bill.”
AHF, which currently operates healthcare centers and pharmacies in 15 U.S. states, provides specialized medical care to people living with HIV/AIDS in Jackson through its clinic located at 766 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, MS 39216.