Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday signed into law what critics say is the most sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in the United States, permitting the denial of products and services in a wide range of venues.
The Republican governor said he enacted the law “to protect the sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations, and private associations.”
Attempting to rebut criticism from LGBT advocates and Democrats — who had urged him to veto the measure — Bryant added the law does not strip anyone’s existing rights.
House Bill 1523 protects individuals, religious organizations, and certain businesses who take actions due to their religious objections to same-sex marriage — or any sex outside straight marriage. It also protects those who object to transgender people.