WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected a challenge to HB 1523, Mississippi's Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act. HB 1523 provides exemptions for those who have a conscience objection to being forced to facilitate same-sex marriages and other matters they disagree with, and allows them to opt out of the process while allowing other government workers or entities to handle such matters.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued the following statement:
"We commend the Fifth Circuit for unanimously agreeing that this commonsense law can go into effect; holding that the plaintiffs here have no actual injury sufficient to base a lawsuit on. Mississippi lawmakers rightly enacted this law because it reflects our nation's history of recognizing, respecting and protecting the moral and religious beliefs of people and faith-based organizations from government discrimination.
"No person should be punished by the government with crippling fines or face disqualification for simply believing what President Obama believed until five years ago, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
"Today's ruling leaves us more confident that the courts will uphold the ability of elected officials to protect the freedom of their citizens to believe and live according to those beliefs," concluded Perkins.