Supreme Court upholds Mississippi law saying people can refuse service on religious grounds
The U.S. Supreme Court left intact a Mississippi law that lets businesses and government workers refuse on religious grounds to provide services to gay and transgender people.I think the description by Bloomberg is what law professors call a distinction without a difference. It suggests that the court is likely to overturn the Colorado law.
The justices turned away two appeals by state residents and organizations that contended the measure violates the Constitution. A federal appeals court said the opponents hadn’t suffered any injury that would let them press their claims in court.
The Mississippi fight in some ways represented the flip side of a Colorado case the high court is currently considering; the question in that instance is whether the state can require a baker who sells wedding cakes to make one for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
The cases are testing states’ ability to regulate what happens when LGBT rights come into conflict with religious freedoms. Colorado is aiming to bolster gay rights by enforcing an anti-discrimination law, even though the Denver-area baker says he has a religious objection to same-sex marriage.
The Mississippi law, by contrast, gives priority to religious rights. The state enacted its law less than a year after the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.