The state of Mississippi soon will be known as the most homophobic state in the US. We can thank the approval of a bill by the Republican majority for this. The Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act goes a lot further than other anti-gay laws in other states.
The recently passed bill states: “it is acceptable to discriminate someone who identifies himself as homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender”.
“Marriage is only considered possible when it is between one man and one woman. Sex is only allowed within the marriage of one man and one woman - from a religious conviction against a person identifying as LGBT, not leading to a conviction if that person is discriminated against”.
With this law in place, Mississippi will perhaps become the most anti-gay state in the US. The bill still needs to be approved by the Republican governor, but he already stated he will certainly place his signature on the bill. In the fourth state, the anti-gay law was recently withdrawn because of a boycott threat by the film industry, businesses, and others, but the chance of that happening in Mississippi is extremely small.
2016 the Year of Anti-Gay Legislation
If 2015 was the year of equal rights for LGBTs, 2016 is probably will be the year of anti-gay laws. This becomes clear from a report by Human Rights Campaign.
The report states that anti-gay laws will be introduced in 27 US states. In 2015, 151 anti-gay bills were submitted in 33 states. Most of these bills did not make it, but there are many others on their way, currently continued, under discussion, or being finalised. In the states Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee, new anti-gay bills are proposed already. The report states that 2016 will be a critical year for the fight for equality for LGBTs throughout the US.
Most of it, if not all has to do with the fact that it is especially religious groups and Republicans that are dead set against the recently obtained equal rights. Since the last US election, the Republicans are a majority, in power in many states. The problem for the Republicans and most of the religious factions mostly is the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
They are willing to do anything to turn back the clock and make things difficult for homosexuals with additional legislation, such as the infamous religious freedom laws giving people the freedom to legally discriminate other people (read: homosexuals). If a Republican president were elected, things would look even grimmer for homosexuals in the US. Yet many remain optimistic and argue that the support of average citizens for equal rights for LGBTs is increasing, and that heterosexuals as well are willing to fight for the preservation of these rights.