Planting Peace Delivers Perfect Response To Mississippi’s Abhorrent Anti-LGBT Law

Planting Peace

In response to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s abhorrent new anti-LGBT law, a measure that allows discrimination against LGBT people by giving public and private businesses the right to refuse service to gay couples based on the employers’ religious beliefs, non-profit organization Planting Peace has purchased advertising space on a giant electronic billboard to remind ‘Christian’ lawmakers about the “golden rule” they seem to have forgotten.

[RELATED: Mississippi Gov. Signs ‘Horrific’ Anti-LGBT Law Allowing Service Denial To LGBT People]

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“The intent of this billboard is to bring awareness to how the anti-LGBT movement continues to try to move us backwards in the fight for equal rights,” Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, told The Huffington Post.

“Like many other anti-LGBT groups, Governor Bryant and Mississippi legislators are citing ‘religious objections’ as a validation for discrimination and being extremely selective in their definition of ‘traditional’ institutions or values. It’s important to bring awareness to this fact, because these actions have never been simply about a political or religious debate.”

Jackson added, “There are LGBT youth across the world who are taking their lives at an alarming rate because of these messages that make them feel broken or less than. We have to meet intolerance with compassion. Our message to our LGBT youth: You are loved, valued, supported, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you, and we will stand by you. You are not alone. We will keep sharing this message as long as we need to to counter hateful actions designed to infringe on people’s basic human rights and dignity.”

The Human Rights Campaign outlines the full implications of HB 1523:

Under HB 1523, religion could be used by individuals or organizations to justify discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, unwed couples, and others. Tax-payer funded faith-based organizations could: refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for provision of critical services including emergency shelter; deny children in need of loving homes placement with LGBT families including the child’s own family member; and refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBT person — even if the organization receives government funding. As introduced, HB 1523 would also give foster families the freedom to subject an LGBTQ child to the dangerous practice of “conversion therapy” or shame a pregnant unwed girl without fear of government intervention or license suspension. It would even allow individuals to refuse to carry out the terms of a state contract for the provision of counseling services to all eligible individuals, including veterans, based on the counselor’s beliefs about LGBT people or single mothers.

Furthermore, schools, employers, and service providers could refuse transgender people access to appropriate sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity — all in direct conflict with the U.S. Department of Justice’s enforcement of federal law. HB 1523 even legalizes Kim Davis-style discrimination by allowing government employees to abdicate their duties and refuse to license or solemnize marriages for LGBT people.