The Mississippi House and Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill which opponents say could legalize discrimination against gays.

The Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act (also known as Senate Bill 2681) aims to “provide that state action or an action by any person based on state action shall not burden a person's right to the exercise of religion.”

Democratic State Senator Derrick Simmons has repeatedly said that the proposed legislation would allow discrimination in Mississippi.

“I urge you not to legalize discrimination in the State of Mississippi,” Simmons told colleagues debating the bill.

“I believe certainly by the way that this bill is drafted that it will allow discrimination in Mississippi,” he said. “There is nothing in the proposed legislation that prohibits that.”

The ACLU said in a statement that the measure “could allow individuals and businesses to bring challenges against what they view as substantial government burdens against religion, including challenging existing nondiscrimination laws.”

After a loud outcry, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in February vetoed a similar bill.

However, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican, is expected to sign the bill into law.