This is a victory for all who love freedom for all Americans. You will recall that similar bills in Arizona and Ohio, modeled after the federal 1993 RFRA, were derailed earlier this year in the midst of hysteria fostered by "deeply misleading" lies from same-sex marriage activists, liberal politicians, and their allies in the mainstream media. We applaud Mississippi's courage to stand up for the facts and basic rights of all citizens. As President Clinton said when he signed the Federal RFRA into law in 1993, "This law basically says that the government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone's free exercise of religion." It's our sincere hope that other states and their legislators will stand up for unalienable human rights of speech and religious liberty of all Americans. Be Encouraged - Freedom and truth will win out over deception and intolerance! And CCV will continue to lead the way to promote, protect, and defend religious freedom in Ohio.
Our friends at Family Research Council released this statement Tuesday night commending leadership in Mississippi:
FRC Commends Mississippi Legislature for Approving Religious Freedom Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - This evening, the Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate approved S.B. 2681, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Family Research Council (FRC) has long supported state RFRAs, which have already been enacted in 18 states since 1996 based on the federal law introduced by now U.S. Senator (then U.S. Representative) Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and former U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), passed 97-3 in the Senate, unanimously by voice vote in the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
"This is a victory for the First Amendment and the right to live and work according to one's conscience. This commonsense measure was a no-brainer for freedom, and like the federal RFRA, it simply bars government discrimination against religious exercise. The legislature gave strong approval to a bill that declares that individuals do not have to trade their religious freedom for entrance into public commerce.
"I commend Mississippi legislators for reading the bill and consulting the facts and not yielding to the wild distortions of the frenzied opposition of anti-religious liberty activists who caused other elected officials to retreat in recent weeks.
"Whether it's someone like Pastor Telsa DeBerry who was hindered by the Holly Springs city government from building a new church in the downtown area, or a wedding vendor, whose orthodox Christian faith will not allow her to affirm same-sex 'marriage,' the provisions of RFRA would apply to prevent the government from discriminating against religious exercise.
"The Founders never envisioned a government forcing Americans to choose between the basic teachings of their faith and losing their livelihood."We commend Governor Phil Bryant, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn, and Senator Phillip Gandy, the bill's sponsor, for their leadership to defend religious freedom and for refusing to cower to egregious misrepresentations of a fair and common-sense religious liberty measure," concluded Perkins.