More HB 1523 News

No wonder Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood didn’t want anything to do with an appeal of the federal injunction that prevented HB 1523 from becoming law. Both at home and abroad, critics seem incredulous that Gov. Phil Bryant’s attorneys have ignored precedents in their brief written in support of the bill.

I will not be surprised if Gov. Bryant brings up HB 1523 in his state of the state address in Jackson tonight. Yet I’ll be disappointed if he does–it would amount to nothing more than obfuscation. We have more important issues to discuss than opinions on a bill that a federal judge has already deemed unconstitutional.

The state’s coffers are not keeping up with the financial strains of providing for good schools, safe infrastructure, and decent health care. I am hoping our leaders will come to their senses, and that Gov. Bryant will announce new methods of funding those three priorities. I am hoping that he will not return to the old chestnuts of lowering taxes to raise revenue, or consolidating state agencies to make them more efficient. In the former case, that the math on that has not worked well. Our state has had to dip into the rainy days funds thrice this year because revenues have fallen short of expectations. In the latter case, making agencies more efficient offers very little short-term help–and we need better schools, better roads, and better health care now.

Mississippi is a good place. It would be a great place if we could get the heck out of our own way.


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15 Responses to More HB 1523 News

  1. Harlynn Robinson says:

    The house bill 1523 is an embarrassment to our state. My own sexuality aside, to legalize discrimination like this is atrocious. Our state has a problem with seeing that state and church are separate. Seeing a bill with the sole purpose of protecting the religious beliefs of only one religion is gross ignorance of the separation of church and state. The bill reads, “The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act…” If church and state are separate, then the only law governing church should be that there be no law governing the church. Mississippi refuses to accept their inability to push the Christian agenda in law, despite its unconstitutionality, and is once again being obstinate. Mississippi’s infrastructure is a real and present issue. But the legislature is too concerned with their religious views to fix it. If Mississippi could ignore their feelings for a moment and improve the State’s infrastructure then they could improve the lives of its citizens. Historically, it seems, Mississippi is rather slow to put aside its customs for change even if it improves people’s lives.

  2. Devon Matheny says:

    I think that the state of MS should focus their priorities on the things that actually need to be fixed. We need a better education system, more technologically advanced infrastructures, and a revision in our health care. Everyone needs to do some fixing up, and MS is not one of the exceptions.

  3. Kamal Bhalla says:

    While we say that society is moving forward, and times are changing…they’re not changing here in Mississippi. The reality of this bill is just horrible. Is it really that difficult to accept people without judging them on their sexuality, color, and religion? Seems like Mississippi, unfortunately, cares a little bit TOO much on all three of them. If Mississippi doesn’t “move forward” then how can we say that America is?

  4. Vera L. Taire says:

    Separation of church and state, I understand. However, what about the interference of the government in private life? See this analysis of article 8 of the Human Rights Act (

    I do agree that marriage is between one man and one woman; that people should not have sex outside such marriages; and that a person’s gender is set at birth. Yes, God does give some people desires and gender struggles… that should not be indulged. Or at least, should not be indulged when they clearly separate you from His will, if you claim to be a Christian (Jew, Muslim, etc.) following His will. (If you aren’t claiming to be religious, have at it, honey)

    I should not be forced to support or serve people that disagree. It is my decision and responsibility to weigh the opportunity cost of whatever they’d pay me vs the moral conundrum I fall into for aiding them in their pursuit of what I perceive as wrong.
    There will always be someone willing to take the money. It doesn’t have to be me, and I shouldn’t be persecuted for that choice.

    Off of that issue, Mississippi does have more readily solved issues than these. This needs to be worked over on a national level. Mississippi should worry about schools, roads, etc.

    • Landry Filce says:

      I do not believe that being forced to treat LGBT people as equals is discrimination. If anything, your argument is that you should not be prevented from discriminating against others. People cannot control their sexualities, and gay relationships do not hurt anyone. I find it funny when non-LGBT people complain of being persecuted when the government tells them that LGBT people should not be discriminated against. The vast majority of people in Mississippi have hateful views toward members of the LGBT community, and if discrimination was legalized, many gay or transgender people would have nowhere to work, live, eat, etc., which are fundamental human rights. People should not be forced to hide who they are to be treated humanely, and religious people need to stop pretending to be persecuted when they are the majority in Mississippi and the very existence of this bill shows the extent to which their more hateful views are tolerated and even encouraged.

  5. Kayla says:

    I think that they are prioritizing things that not as important as education, health care, or jobs. Funding for all of these topics are a serious issue that needs to be addressed, and nothing will get done if people are worrying about other things than what is on the top of the list.

  6. Kendall Wells says:

    The state does have a problem seeing itself separate from the church. Moving forward in today’s society includes accepting all sexualities, religions, etc. If Mississippi as a whole would see that, we would not have to waste time arguing over bills like this. It would be beneficial to everyone for the state to start focusing on things we actually need improving on, instead of trying to live in the 1800’s again.

  7. Yousef Abu-Salah says:

    Change is hard. Our state is very backwards. While the majority of our country continues to progress, our state is still stuck in the past. We must learn to accept differences, no matter if we disagree with it or not. This bill is not the right way. The House Bill 1523 is, by no means, a priority that our state should pursue. Our state is suffering from a countless variety of problems, such as education or teen pregnancy. Yet, it seems that all we can focus about is whether a human being can marry another human being. It is pathetic. We must make sure that the state and church are separate. Until that become the case, I am sorry to say that legalized discrimination will continue to find a home in Mississippi.

  8. Liam McDougal says:

    Mississippi is great at what it does: being rock-bottom for just about every statistic you can think of for the country. In this case, we’ll talk about our reluctance to change. HB1523 represents perfectly that we just really do not want to give up those past values that made our country So Great™. It looks like our state is looking for any way to squeeze in any ways to discriminate against those who they don’t like. The fact that HB1523 could make it this far in the government is insane to me. The separation of church and state exists for a reason, and this bill is a blatant refusal of it. I feel like our state is trapped in this perpetual state of unwillingness to change, and that alone is enough to drive the people who can manage to get out away from the state. Those people, unfortunately, are also the same people who, if they had stayed in the state, could most likely make the changes necessary to change the state into one that is caught up with the rest of the country.

  9. Samuel Patterson III says:

    Mississippi has so much potential but it keeps shooting itself in the foot. 43.68% of the state’s revenue is comprised of federal funding and we dare poke the supreme court decision in the eye. This is a backward state and if a redo button was ever a thing Mississippi needs to be at the front of the line. How dare our state leaders support any form of discrimination after the dark history of Jim Crow. Such a shame.

  10. L. Terces says:

    I believe that a state should not interfere in the personal lives of their citizens. The reason for that is because America was built on the motto “united we stand”, then why is the state being a hypocrite and trying to break apart its citizens. Gay marriage has been legalized in about 37 states, then why can Mississippi not legalize it. Also, I feel like the state just needs to make a final decision on that topic, and discuss other serious issues like funding education.

  11. Jackson Sparkman says:

    It’s funny that we live in the most illiterate, poorest, one of the most obese, and the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the entire nation, and yet we still focus on making sure we can relive the Jim Crow south by a bill that lets you deny basic goods to good Mississippians.
    It’s not about human rights to Phil Bryant, its a play to say he’s done something in the last 7 years to the people who will remember him, the most conservatives Christians in the South.

  12. Mariat Thankachan says:

    The state of Mississippi has numerous issues that need to be dealt with, like lack of funding in education fields, health care, and infrastructure. If these problems are handled head on by acting on ways to budget, we just might not need to use any rainy day funds. Instead, the other route is taken to avoid confrontation and we are left listening to debates on an unconstitutional bill.

  13. Meagan Pittman says:

    The world has always moved forward leaving Mississippi in the dust. The majority of Mississippi residents/lawmakers are stubborn, not only opposing change, but actively resisting it. As with race equality, Mississippi has also been slow in granting gender equality. Our state wants to proclaim religiousness when making many laws, but when it comes down to it, they’re only willing to accept one religion. Yes, Mississippi has large issues with infrastructure, healthcare, and education. But the scariest issues are those that are not seen everyday, rather felt.

  14. Darby Meadows says:

    Mississippi is a great state. But you are correct when you say there is much we can improve in (schools, roads, health care, etc.). I think Gov. Phil Bryant should discuss the problems in Mississippi that he can fix and not waste peoples time discussing a topic that has already deemed unconstitutional. I am glad Gov. Bryant did not bring up the topic or not at his state of the state address January 17. Hopefully Gov. Bryant and his people are looking at more pressing topics.

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