June 21, 2016
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/documents/2016/jun/21/order-aclu-hb1523-lawsuit/">dismissed the ACLU's lawsuit that tried to dismantle House Bill 1523 before it becomes law next week. In his order, Reeves wrote that the ACLU's complaint did not satisfy the criteria for him to issue a preliminary injunction to block HB1523 from becoming law. Reeves wrote that the plaintiffs needed to prove that injury was "imminent" in order for a preliminary injunction to be considered. The plaintiffs, Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas are engaged to be married but do not plan to do so for a few years. Reeves said for a threat to be imminent, it "threatens to occur immediately."
"Alford and Thomas’s injury, if one exists, would arise when they apply for a marriage license. But they declare that they will apply for their license sometime within the next three years," http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/documents/2016/jun/21/order-aclu-hb1523-lawsuit/">Reeves wrote. "That is not imminent. The ACLU has the same problem. If a member of the ACLU intends to enter into a same-sex marriage in 2017, any injury is at least six months away."
Human Rights Campaign state director Rob Hill reiterated that HB1523 is dangerous and hateful legislation, in response to the order.
“H.B. 1523 represents the worst of Mississippi. If allowed to go into effect next week, it will lead to widespread discrimination against LGBTQ Mississippians at work, school and in family life. The business community -- including local and national companies and organizations such as Nissan, General Electric, the Mississippi Economic Council, the Mississippi Manufacturing Association and more -- has roundly condemned this dangerous bill," Hill said in a statement. "It will do harm to our community, our families and our economy and we must not allow it to stand. In the coming weeks, HRC will continue our ongoing efforts to ensure this bill is ultimately struck down or repealed.”
Judge Reeves will hold hearings for the two other lawsuits filed against House Bill 1523 together on Thursday this week. HB1523 will go into effect on July 1 if Reeves does not issue a preliminary injunction blocking it from becoming law.