Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said
Wednesday that he would sign a controversial bill approved by
lawmakers on Tuesday.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act
(also known as Senate Bill 2681) passed 79-43 in the House and 37-14
in the Senate.
The measure 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.”
Opponents say the measure could allow
businesses and individuals to refuse services to gay people and
ACLU of Mississippi Executive Director
Jennifer Riley-Collins said of the bill: “We remain hopeful that
courts throughout the state will reject any attempts to use religion
to justify discrimination. Nobody should be refused service because
of who they are.”
After a loud outcry, Arizona Governor
Jan Brewer in February vetoed a similar bill. Lawmakers in other
states have rejected similar measures.