Jim DeMint / April 7, 2016

The Extraordinary Courage of Gov. Phil Bryant

On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi signed the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act into law. To protect religious liberty in his state, he stood up against corporate bullies and leftist pressure groups. The Republican governor should be an inspiration to lawmakers everywhere. In the last few years, states and localities nationwide have prosecuted small businesses for declining involvement in gay marriage ceremonies. We’ve seen the government do some pretty terrible things, like Washington state trying to bankrupt a 70-year-old florist, or Oregon fining a bakery $135,000 and then placing a gag order on the owners to silence them.

On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi signed the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act into law. To protect religious liberty in his state, he stood up against corporate bullies and leftist pressure groups.

The Republican governor should be an inspiration to lawmakers everywhere.

In the last few years, states and localities nationwide have prosecuted small businesses for declining involvement in gay marriage ceremonies. We’ve seen the government do some pretty terrible things, like Washington state trying to bankrupt a 70-year-old florist, or Oregon fining a bakery $135,000 and then placing a gag order on the owners to silence them.

We’ve even seen the most intolerant tendencies of the Left’s rank-and-file when a pizza place in Indiana was threatened with violence for even discussing the possibility of not participating in a gay wedding celebration.

The message has been clear: It’s not enough to respect everyone, to live and let live. You must actively participate in ceremonies that go against your beliefs or the government will punish you.

To make matters worse, whenever state legislatures have considered religious freedom bills to protect regular Americans from this intolerance, activist groups and massive corporations like Disney, Hilton, and Marriott have shown up and threatened boycotts, protests, and relocations. Recently, lawmakers in West Virginia and Georgia have been cowed into shelving or vetoing these common sense policies.

This is the toxic atmosphere of corporate bullying Bryant chose to fight. As he wrote in a signing statement:

I am signing HB 1523 into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations and private associations from discriminatory action by state government or its political subdivisions […] This bill merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom as stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A shocking amount of slanted news stories uncritically describe Mississippi’s new law as “anti-gay” or “discriminatory.” Nothing could be further from the truth — you can read the details here. The law now simply protects religious organizations and a narrow slice of small businesses from being forced by government to engage in behavior that contradicts their deeply held beliefs. Nobody is being denied services because of who they are.

Bryant and the Mississippi state legislature have set a sterling example for other states seeking to protect the rights of all Americans. They did so in the face of vitriolic, misleading opposition from progressives and the corporations they use as instruments of bullying. This took real courage, and deserves our praise.


Republished from The Daily Signal.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.