July 1, 2016

"U.S. District Judge strikes down Mississippi’s ‘religious freedom’ law."

WaPo reports on a preliminary injunction issued late last night.
“The State has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others. Showing such favor tells ‘nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and . . . adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.’ ” Reeves wrote, citing precedent. “And the Equal Protection Clause is violated by HB 1523’s authorization of arbitrary discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender, and unmarried persons.”
The Mississippi law, which you can read here, is different from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which gives religious persons some exemptions from generally applicable law. That law applies to any religious belief that is substantially burdened. The Mississippi law specifies 3 particular religious beliefs it exempts: "Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman... Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage... Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth."

41 comments:

damikesc said...

Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman

Nothing outlawing anything.

Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage

I'm not seeing anything outlawing anything here, either.

Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

It is really sad that genetic science is having to try and be protected in a religious freedom bill.

The State has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others. Showing such favor tells ‘nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community

Isn't this doing the exact same thing?

Bob Ellison said...

What about hermaphrodites?

sinz52 said...

"Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman... Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage... "

No sexual relations by anyone outside of marriage, then???

That would seem to grant a religious exception for a landlord or a hotel owner who didn't want to rent a room to a cohabiting but unmarried heterosexual couple.

That goes way beyond a simple narrow religious exception for same-sex marriage.

I have supported a compromise that would, for maybe 10-15 years, grant a religious exception for religious-owned businesses that didn't want to lend their tacit support for a same-sex *wedding*. BUT THAT'S IT. NOTHING ELSE. NOTHING.

A Christian banker could not refuse to grant a loan or open an account for a gay couple, for example.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced private businesses to stop discriminating against protected classes. Currently, gays are not a protected class under Federal law. But they are a protected class under numerous state laws.

TreeJoe said...

So those beliefs are only religious in nature?

Because if they are not directly religious, if in fact they are held by plenty of non religious folks and across lots of various religions, then perhaps this is entirely within the states purview.

damikesc said...

No sexual relations by anyone outside of marriage, then???

I'm not seeing anything involving outlawing anything.

A Christian banker could not refuse to grant a loan or open an account for a gay couple, for example.

1) Why couldn't they? It's their money at risk.
2) How many small mom & pop banks are out there?
3) How many locations ONLY have one single small mom & pop bank where finding a different location would be impossible?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced private businesses to stop discriminating against protected classes. Currently, gays are not a protected class under Federal law. But they are a protected class under numerous state laws.

I'm willing to bet they are not in MS. Which makes this critique pointless.

Bob Ellison said...

There's gonna be a problem in Afghanistan.

sean said...

What about a law that gives specific accommodation to the religious belief in pacifism? I think the answer is the law professors are vaguely sympathetic to that belief, so the law is Constitutional.

Mark said...

damikesc, deliberately misunderstanding things is not a good look.

Go pull your head out of your ass and come back when you want an actual discussion based on facts.

Fernandinande said...

the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA], which gives religious persons some exemptions from generally applicable law.

Remove the first "R" and it might be constitutional.

Boxty said...

Sorry, Mark, but you are the one being a dumbass. On his first point, damikesc has *every* major religion and the laws of almost every country on his side. Only in recent times have we turned the laws of nature upside down and nature has responded by giving us multiple antibiotic resistant sexually transmitted diseases. Then HIV and now Zitka apparently. IMHO, that has always been a "rational basis" for outlawing sex outside of marriage. Of course that's not a standard that is ever applied evenly either.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

They should have named it the "It's Okay if Enough People Think God Wants it Act."

Chuck said...

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood -- a noted Democrat in the mostly-red state of Mississippi -- had the duty to defend the state law but says that he regretted the cost of defending the law and he didn't see the purpose of the law. He said as much in an NPR interview:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/07/01/484291451/judge-blocks-mississippi-law-protecting-religious-objections-to-gay-marriage

Hood is one of those charming Democrats who have turned Mississippi into a litigation hellhole:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB120389878913889385

Mark said...

Boxty, we have Zika because of gay people and premarital sex?

Did you seriously link a mosquito borne disease with bedroom activities you don't like?

lol

damikesc said...

damikesc, deliberately misunderstanding things is not a good look.

Go pull your head out of your ass and come back when you want an actual discussion based on facts.


The "facts" I got wrong are...?

Is sex preferable in a married, committed relationship? Yeah, but the law doesn't seek to make the alternative illegal. Feel free to find a single word indicating that. It says that things should be a certain way, not that they MUST be a certain way. I don't get why not championing something is, to you, banning it, but you're incorrect.

Should marriage be between a man and a woman? Well, for eons of history, absolutely. Only now, when colleges stopped educating kids and went for pure indoctrination, there are now a lot of young who feel it shouldn't. Yet the law doesn't make gay marriage illegal nor does it try to do so.

"Is OR SHOULD BE" isn't "This shit be illegal, yo"

Your sex is how you're born. Being a woman is more than having tits and, possibly, mutilating your genitals. Being a man is more than not having tits and adding on an absurd appendage. I don't get why more women aren't pissed that people like you feel that having tits and "feeling like a woman" (which translates to "wants to wear a dress or make-up") is enough to be a woman, but that's women's issue, not mine.

Chuck said...

Huh. After posting my anti-Democratic comment above, I went back to yesterday's Althouse post on the Rush Limbaugh take on the Phoenix Tarmacgate story. Where a great many commenters accused me of being a moby and a pro-Democrat troll. (And a great many doing me the unwitting favor of quoting me as they attacked my supposed anti-Republican bias. In which my quoted words never once attacked a Republican or defended a Democrat. And wherein elsewhere in the thread I was attacked as an establishment Republican. Go figure.)

damikesc said...

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood -- a noted Democrat in the mostly-red state of Mississippi -- had the duty to defend the state law but says that he regretted the cost of defending the law and he didn't see the purpose of the law. He said as much in an NPR interview:

Republicans need to do the same with laws they dislike. Defend them as half-assed as humanly possible and blast them in the press whenever possible.

Mark said...

None of these three -- marriage, sexual activity, and sex -- are particularly religious beliefs. Each and every one of them is grounded in objective truth regarding the human person as revealed in right reason.

Mark said...

damikesc,

You keep talking about `making things illegal'. I don't hear anyone saying this law would have made gay sex or premarital sex illegal - if you would read the story it's quite clear from the very first paragraph:

" a bill by the Mississippi legislature that would have allowed private citizens and some public officials professing a “sincere religious belief” to deny services to gays and lesbians."

Court clerks would be allowed to deny marriage licenses to same sex couples by asserting a religious offense. A single mother could be fired from her job. Any private business owner could refuse service to anyone they perceived to be gay by citing the above religious beliefs.

Go ahead, defend away. Fire single mothers as you ban abortion access. Oh wait, you can't do either anymore.

Mark said...

An atheist has just as much of a fundamental right not to be compelled to be involved in the irrational fantasies and legal fictions of the leftist new order as the rest of us. Truth is not reserved only for people of faith -- it belongs to everyone.

Mark said...

And pay no attention to this other "Mark" guy.

Sebastian said...

"Showing such favor tells ‘nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and . . . adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.’" Of course, fabricating SSM from the 14th, overriding actual decisions by the actual people, does no such thing.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I agree it's totally wrong for the government to make anyone feel like they're outsiders, not full members of the community, or that members of certain groups are favored members of the political community.

I can't think of any examples of the government doing things like that, though, except for mean ol' religious Republicans, so it's a good thing this is a general rule.
Thank goodness the Left believes everyone should be treated equally under the law--that groups with certain beliefs shouldn't be targeted, that people who hold certain opinions shouldn't be made to feel like they're outsiders or blamed for bad things happening...no sir, I can't think of any examples like that. Hooray for equal treatment under the law!

mockturtle said...

Basic morality and common sense again debunked and de-legitimized.

damikesc said...

You keep talking about `making things illegal'. I don't hear anyone saying this law would have made gay sex or premarital sex illegal - if you would read the story it's quite clear from the very first paragraph:

" a bill by the Mississippi legislature that would have allowed private citizens and some public officials professing a “sincere religious belief” to deny services to gays and lesbians."


As well they should.

Why should "Whom you fuck" be a category that forces people to do business with you?

If a baker says "I don't want to make a wedding cake for this couple", that should be their prerogative. If a painter says "I don't wish to paint a portrait of this couple", should also be their prerogative. And the only way a restaurant would know is if one is being an obnoxious ass about it, so you can refuse service because they're obnoxious asses.

Court clerks would be allowed to deny marriage licenses to same sex couples by asserting a religious offense.

Then remove the officials name off the license.

It's not like, say, being a mayor and ordering your police to not protect innocent people being assaulted by a mob.


Go ahead, defend away. Fire single mothers as you ban abortion access. Oh wait, you can't do either anymore.


I love how "demanding medical facilities be clean as a medical facility" is "banning access". Demanding cleanliness in hospitals also "bans access" to hospitals based on this tortured logic.

eric said...

Any private business owner could refuse service to anyone they perceived to be gay by citing the above religious beliefs.

Any private business owner should be able to refuse service to anyone. For any reason. At any time.

That's why it's called a private business.

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, as long as they vote the way their generation's elites want them to, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the judges, appellate courts, politicians, groups who make the most noise or to the media.

damikesc said...

GOP must also add an abortion rider to any legislation for "no fly, no gun". If a secret list with no oversight and no due process is good enough to limit gun rights, it should be good enough to limit abortion.

lgv said...

Crazy interpretations of constitutional rights leads to bad laws being written to counteract them.

It all started in Mass. with their state Supreme Court creating a constitutional right to same sex marriage. This led to the movement to have heterosexual marriage defined within the state constitution and other legislation like this one. Same goes with abortion and state restrictions.

If we didn't get the these broadening of rights by supreme courts, we wouldn't get all this legislation to try and circumvent it.

traditionalguy said...

But what about the Global Warming State Religion? Surely it cannot be disobeyed.

n.n said...

Is it still illegal to deny religious/moral instruction received from gods in the twilight zone as interpreted by liberal judges, teachers, acolytes, and Obama?

Static Ping said...

It is always amusing when judges think that the Constitution means something. Cute.

darrenoia said...

Quoting @eric:
Any private business owner should be able to refuse service to anyone. For any reason. At any time.

That's why it's called a private business.


Yes. This is the answer. It doesn’t solve everything but it makes things much, much simpler. Keep the government out of dictating who does business with whom. That’s not American. The left will never concede that, though, because they left has no principles, only favored groups who deserve privileges.

The equation of gay/transgender/etc. with blacks in the Civil Rights era has to end. Civil rights laws were necessary to combat official and legal racism. The problem wasn’t that the Jim Crow laws *tolerated* racism, but that they mandated it.

This is not the 1950s. Gays are not being legally discriminated against. They don’t need extra special protection not afforded to others.

All animals are equal, but gay animals are more equal than others.

Ambrose said...

Is a preliminary injunction really the same as striking down a law, or do we have some wishful thinking in the headline?

Joe said...

The "outrage" about his is again proof that many Republicans are no more interested in free speech and genuine freedom than Democrats; there only argument is what to control. As but two examples, Democrats want to quash dissent on global warming, Republicans want to quash dissent on their view of what marriage should be.

damikesc said...

Conservatives like me want to not give a shit about gay marriage. Activists and judges won't let us not care. I have no beef with a law saying "you're not required to give a shit".

Robert Cook said...

"...only in recent times have we turned the laws of nature upside down and nature has responded by giving us multiple antibiotic resistant sexually transmitted diseases."

Anti-biotic resistant bacteria are the evolved result of the overuse of antibiotics. It has nothing to with sexual activity of any kind.

What "laws of nature" have we turned upside down? Homosexual behavior has existed in every human society in every age. Homosexual behavior is seen in the non-human animal kingdom. There is nothing sacrosanct about sex...it is merely a distribution system for spreading and mixing DNA in the present and through time, (and can serve to facilitate bonding between/among sexual partners). Many life forms do not reproduce sexually at all.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Any private business owner should be able to refuse service to anyone. For any reason. At any time. That's why it's called a private business.

Yes, freedom of association. Like Springsteen, Mumford & Sons, Pearl Jam, and Boston canceling concerts in North Carolina over the LGBT law, actions which all of my lefty friends applauded.

Or should we be able to force artists to perform in North Carolina against their wishes, like we're supposed to be able to force chapels, bakers, and photographers to perform against their wishes?

A friend, who is a Quaker, didn't think it was right for Christians to be able to refuse service for a homosexual "wedding." So I asked, is she rejecting the concept of "Conscientious objector?" That ended that conversation.

campy said...

Freedom of religion laws are intended for cool people like American Indians and Buddists and Hindus, not yucky Christians.

campy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boxty said...

Mark: the CDC says that Zitka can be sexually transmitted.

Robert Cook: are you seriously arguing that antibiotic resistant gonorrhea and syphilis aren't sexually tansmitted? That's as dumb as the guy arguing Melania Trump isn't a U.S. citizen because she's from Europe.

Your argument about homosexuality is so bad I can only assume you are trolling.

mtrobertslaw said...

Why are the three offending beliefs deemed "religious beliefs"? Two can be defended by arguments wholly based on social science, medical science and history. And the third can be defended on arguments based on science. To be sure, such arguments represent a minority position in today's intellectual culture, but that does not make them religious beliefs. Nor does the fact that these beliefs may be consistent with a religious doctrine turn them into beliefs resting solely on religion.