The measure, cloaked in the language of religious liberty, is essentially an attempt to legalize segregation between LGBTQ people and the rest of society. It allows religious landlords to evict gay and trans renters; permits religious employers to fire workers for being LGBTQ; allows adoption agencies—private and state-run—to turn away same-sex couples; allows private businesses to refuse services to gay people; allows clerks and judges to refuse to marry same-sex couples; and forbids trans students from using public school bathrooms that align with their gender identity. No state has ever passed a law so blatantly rooted in malevolent animus toward LGBTQ people.
I’m glad that Stern used the S word: that’s what this really is. It’s an attempt to revive the doctrine of separate but
unequal equal in religious liberty drag. Laws that disadvantage “discrete and insular minorities” are frowned upon by the courts, which is where this law will surely end up.
To use another legalism, the Mississippi law is overbroad, that’s one reason that I don’t think it will take effect any time soon. It’s the sort of case that will eventually land in the Supreme Court’s lap along with the equally overbroad North Carolina law. In some ways that one is worse since it was passed in the middle of the night and signed into law without public scrutiny.
Governor Malaka is a shallow, pandering right-wing politician in a state where laws such as this have majority support. Additionally, the business community there is NOT as powerful as in a state like Georgia. National pundits may have stressed the film industry-especially the Mouse-as key to Deal’s veto but Coca Cola is the big macher in the Peach State. For all I know, they threatened to unleash the demonic ghost of Ty Cobb to spike the bill. Pun clearly intended. Yeah, I know: Ty Cobb was racist but he liked kicking ass and his Coke stock made him a wealthy
The malakatude of Bryant and the Magnolia state lege is another example of the dichotomy between Southern politics and Southerners themselves. I’ve lived in the South for half my life and the people-even in rural, rednecky areas-are as warm and friendly as their politics are retrograde. It has been the source of much frustration for me that the same nice neighbor who would give you the shirt off his back votes the straight wingnut ticket. I wish I had the answer to this but I don’t. I do, however, wish that more people would-as I do-view politics as an extension of their everyday life as opposed to an abstract battle of heroes and villains. Besides, prejudice is rude and one thing most Southerners agree on is/are manners. (I found the whole agreement thing disagreeable in that sentence so I decided to punt as well as pun.)
This is not a typical malaka of the week post. Even I have a hard time finding anything funny in a bill that blatantly discriminates against some of my fellow citizens. And that is why Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is malaka of the week.
I’ll give the fierce Nina Simone the last word: