If you ever find yourself having a good day or thinking that history is beginning to favor progress, you can always count on Mississippi to prove you wrong. On Wednesday, Mississippi’s 5th Court of Appeals rejected a demand to rehear a challenge to HB 1523 as a full court. That means that if HB 1523 isn’t ever heard by the Supreme Court, then Mississippi may actually implement a law making it legal for individuals, organizations and corporations to discriminate against people of varying sexual orientations and gender identities … because of “religion.”
Basically, that means that any goddamned good ol’ boy with a God-given fear of homosexuals could just decide to not sell you a goddamned lottery ticket at his goddamned 7-11 if he goddamned well pleases. Goddamm. And as the Daily Beast pointed out, corporations are now allowed to pretend that they’re real people with fully-fledged religious beliefs, thanks to a 2014 Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling that you almost definitely forgot about. This in turn means that a representative of — oh, I dunno, Stein Mart — could deny employment to someone because they’re listed as in a same-sex marriage on Facebook.
This ruling also means that a gay person could be denied wedding services including “photography, poetry, videography, disc-jockey services, wedding planning, floral arrangements,” and — we’re guessing — private escorts, honeymoon suite BDSM materials, and a wedding day flash mob made up of the entirety of the West Hollywood gay men’s choir. (They would never fly all that way, anyway.)
Just to be clear, this also means that an individual (or an “organization” or a “corporation”) could refuse to rent an apartment to a same-sex couple or an unmarried straight couple who might be having sex. Needless to say, that law could totally be abused by — say — a crafty hotel-owner named Jeannine who finds out that her regular customer, an upstart broad named Mary Jo, has only been coming there every Friday to fool around with Jeannine’s husband Jimmy. Also, who’s to say that a couple of gay guys living together have to be boning? Throw a rock anywhere in Hell’s Kitchen, NY, and you’ll hit one half of a gay couple who fucking hate each other.
Anyway, this is almost certainly an unconstitutional law, and the Supreme Court will almost certainly be hearing an appeal on it.