ACLU Sues Mississippi over Controversial ‘Anti-LGBT’ Law

iStock/Thinkstock(JACKSON, Miss.) -- The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Mississippi filed a lawsuit Monday challenging HB 1523, a controversial piece of legislation that critics say enables religious organizations and businesses the ability to discriminate against LGBT people based upon their sexual orientation.

According to the law, Mississippi residents are permitted to decline products and services to LGBT people, and can also set standards of practice that would permit them to decide "whether or not to hire, terminate or discipline an individual whose conduct or religious beliefs are inconsistent” with their beliefs.

"We've had a long history in Mississippi of bigotry and discrimination, and House Bill 1523 brings that back to life," said Oliver Diaz, a former state Supreme Court justice who filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

The ACLU released a statement via Twitter, saying that the organization was using "all avenues available to us to ensure that rights are protected here in Mississippi."

A spokesman for the Mississippi governor's office did not immediately respond to a requests for comment about the lawsuit.

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