AG Hood: HB 1523 'Will Not Protect' State Officials from Federal Lawsuits

Several organizations have issued statements responding to http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/apr/05/total-infringement-governor-signs-hb-1523-over-pro/">Gov. Phil Bryant signing House Bill 1523 into law. Mississippi law professors from both the University of Mississippi and Mississippi College law schools and legal scholars http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/documents/2016/apr/05/mississippi-lawyers-legal-scholars-respond-hb1523/">issued this memo, saying the bill violates the First Amendment.

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/apr/05/vermont-bans-official-travel-mississippi-over-lgbt/">Vermont, http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/apr/05/new-york-bans-state-trips-mississippi-because-new-/">New York, http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/apr/05/seattle-mayor-bans-city-employee-travel-mississipp/">Seattle and http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/apr/05/dc-consider-travel-ban-any-state-anti-gay-laws/">Washington D.C. have issued travel bans to the state as a result of the bill being signed. Attorney General Jim Hood issued a statement warning that House Bill 1523 will not protect state officials from federal lawsuits if they violate federal statutes.

Attorney General Jim Hood “Any lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 1523 will have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We would caution government officials and others that House Bill 1523 does not override federal law or constitutional rights. If a person or government official violates a federal statute or constitutional provision, House Bill 1523 will not protect that official from a federal lawsuit or from potential personal liability under federal law.”

Rep. Jeramey Anderson, D-Moss Point

Rep. Anderson released a statement on Twitter regarding HB 1523 which was signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant today:

“In high school, I was educated about Jim Crow laws and practices, I never once thought, I would be a part of a state legislature that would create such discriminatory and unethical practices based on Christian beliefs or religious practices, the same Christian beliefs that encourage you to love your neighbor and not to pass judgment. We use religion as a shield to discriminate. The work this state has invested to progress past our dark past was challenged today when the Governor signed this discriminatory bill. Not only is this a setback to our State’s economy but it is also a setback for our young bright and talented Mississippi children who call Mississippi their home. First an underfunded public education system, crumbling infrastructure and now a discriminatory bill into law. Mississippi has to rise above and not continue to make national news for all the negative impacts on Mississippians. I firmly believe that an inequality for one is an inequality for all. I will continue to fight to ensure equality for all.”

The Democratic National Committee Verbatim Statement on HB1523 below:

Upon news that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has signed the discriminatory House Bill 1523 into law, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement:

“It’s embarrassing, shameful, and truly perplexing that the Republicans still don’t get it. LGBT Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law, just as everyone else. No exceptions. No allowances for discrimination. That we’re even still debating this in 2016 boggles the mind.

“‘Right to Discriminate’ measures signed into law by Republican governors are proof that the Republican Party’s leaders are stuck in the dark ages when it comes to equality and that they've been on a divisive path toward destruction since long before Donald Trump ran for president. In fact, the Republican National Committee has passed resolutions calling on state legislatures to pass discriminatory ‘bathroom bills’ targeted at LGBT youth and calling on Congress to pass a national ‘Right to Discriminate’ law that they cynically call the First Amendment Defense Act.

“No American should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s not very complicated, and that’s not who we are as Americans. It’s long past time for the Republicans to get the message.”


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