The following statement can be attributed to Jennifer Riley Collins, Executive Director for the ACLU of Mississippi:
“We are deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear challenges to HB 1523, the anti-LGBT law that allows religion to be used as a way to discriminate based on specific beliefs about gay marriage, transgender individuals, and sex before marriage. This law very simply is a license to discriminate. While the right to one’s religious belief is fundamental, a license to discriminate is not. Same-sex couples deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else.
“However, the fight is not over. The ACLU of Mississippi expects that our narrower challenge will now move forward. Our case was filed on behalf of a same-sex couple planning to marry in Mississippi in the near future. We will continue to proceed on behalf of our members - Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas – to protect them and other same-sex couples from this harmful and discriminatory law. This law should not allow state employees to withhold marriage licenses from same-sex couples.
“While we are disappointed in the Court’s decision, the ACLU of Mississippi will not stand quietly by while discrimination is sanctioned. We believe in the rule of law, and we are concerned that harm is already done when any citizen is treated as second class. We want to hear from anyone who experiences discrimination in marriage, health care, or any other context.
“House Bill 1523 cannot trump the Constitution or other federal anti-discrimination statutes. We stand ready to ensure that those rights are enforced and that all Mississippians are protected from discrimination.
“Again, we urge the community to contact us if they or someone they know experiences any discrimination.”