ACLU Suit Miss. Directed

Barb Wire

Isn’t the point of the American Civil Liberties Union to protect liberties? Not when they conflict with the ACLU’s far-Left ideology. That was made abundantly clear in Mississippi this week, when the unofficial arm of the Democratic Party dragged the state into court over a law that does exactly what the organization supposedly supports! In a desperate cry for attention, the ACLU is suing a woman who directs the state’s Health Statistics and Vital Records over a scenario that hasn’t even happened. Together with a handful of plaintiffs, a same-sex couple is alleging that the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act treats them like “second-class citizens.”

No one is quite sure how, since they haven’t even applied for the marriage license that they insist someone in Mississippi would deny over religious reasons! In other words, the ACLU is not suing a state official over what has happened but what they think might happen when the law gives locals the opportunity to be accommodated by opting out of an event or duty that violates their religious beliefs. Apparently, the ACLU didn’t bother to read the law, because it states in black and white, “Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent the state government from providing…any benefit or service authorized under state law.” This law accommodates both the same-sex couple and those with religious convictions who believe it’s morally wrong to facilitate a same-sex wedding.

Under H.B. 1523, no one is allowed to “discriminate” — not against same-sex couples and not against Christians. All the law does is ensure that the government can’t punish someone for their natural views on marriage or sexuality. There’s no fine print giving people the right to deny services, despite the Left’s bogus propaganda. If coexistence is the goal, then this law provides the path. And here’s the other kicker: the ACLU is suing over a law that hasn’t even gone into effect! H.B. 1523 won’t be enacted until July, and the intolerant crowd is already manufacturing injustices!

Yesterday on “Washington Watch” (listen below), Governor Phil Bryant (R-Miss.) talked about the real motivation for the suit. “The ACLU is raising money off of this. I’m almost certain that they’re sending out emails saying, ‘Help us fight the state of Mississippi’… and I can tell you, we are going to pursue this… because [we] know that in any reasonable world, it will be dismissed.” This is nothing more than a frivolous lawsuit from a movement that knows it’s losing the debate. “As the word spreads,” Governor Bryant said, “I think the rest of the nation is beginning to wake up and ask, ‘What kind of world are we living in?’ This isn’t Hollywood. This is America, where common sense prevails.”

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Fortunately for Mississippi, some of that common sense already has. On Tuesday, Governor Bryant signed into law a measure that will defund organizations like Planned Parenthood that are facilitating abortion on the taxpayer dime. Although the state’s only abortion center receives some of the fewest taxpayer dollars in the country, even a penny’s worth of involvement is too much. State leaders are determined to follow in the footsteps of the other states who’ve ended taxpayers’ forced partnership with Cecile Richards’s group. Obviously, if liberals thought they could intimidate Mississippi, they were mistaken!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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