CNN Correspondent Highlights Backlash Against Mississippi's Extreme New Anti-LGBT Law

Sara Ganim: Law “Allows Businesses To Deny Services Based On Their Beliefs Against Same-Sex Marriage, Against Premarital Sex, And A Recognition Of Someone's Gender Only At Birth”

From the April 6 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:

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CAROL COSTELLO (HOST): In the state of Mississippi, a backlash is growing against a law critics say is legal discrimination. The state becoming the latest to allow private businesses and government agencies to deny services to the LGBT community based on religious objections. Governor Phil Bryant signed the controversial bill into law on Tuesday even though protesters had urged him not to do so. And now the hashtag #ShameOnPhil is trending. CNN's Sara Ganim joins us now with more on this. Good morning.

SARA GANIM: Good morning Carol. Yes, some very strong language in reaction to this law. Some people calling it a hate bill, others saying that it's sending Mississippi back into its dark past. This is really the latest in a wave of religious discrimination laws across the South since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. But this one stands out in Mississippi because it's so detailed and such strong language. This law, which was signed into law last night by the governor there, allows businesses to deny services based on their beliefs against same-sex marriage, against premarital sex, and a recognition of someone's gender only at birth. So that, Carol, means that people can be denied adoption services --

COSTELLO: Wait. Premarital sex? Go back.

GANIM: Yes. For everybody. For everyone. Not just same-sex couples but a belief against premarital sex can cause you to be denied counseling services, adoption services, certain medical treatments, even the chance to buy or rent property. That's how strong this language is and that's why this has people so upset. Governor Phil Bryant defending this decision, but there's a lot of back and forth. Take a look.


GOV. PHIL BRYANT (R-MS): If a baker or photographer says my deeply held religious view says that I cannot participate in a religious ceremony like a wedding, the state cannot fine you, we cannot take your license away from you.

ROB HILL: You've had LGBT people in Mississippi who have heard throughout the years, maybe at a church or at school or even in their home, unfortunately, that they are not of value and that they're second class and here's our state leader saying exactly that same thing.


GANIM: So there are other states that have floated similar laws. North Carolina had a lot of backlash in the last couple of weeks over a bill that regulates who can go into which bathroom. Virginia and Georgia both had governors that vetoed similar bills, and next up we see Tennessee, they're considering a bill that has to do with therapists and whether or not they have to give their counseling to certain people, but we're seeing the pushback mostly in the pocketbook, right? Businesses saying that they are not okay with this, they are not going to do business in states that have these kinds of laws on the books.

COSTELLO: Have any of them followed through with their promise to leave?

GANIM: Well, PayPal, for one, has decided not to go forward with a huge expansion in the state of North Carolina. You know, this was just signed into law last night in Mississippi, already we're seeing reaction from businesses like Microsoft and IBM, so large corporations. This could have a financial impact.


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