CNN Highlights The “Extraordinary” And “Extreme” Breadth Of Anti-LGBT Mississippi Law

Jeffrey Toobin: “The Mississippi Law Makes The Other Laws Look Tiny” Because Of “The Number Of People And Institutions That Are Allowed To Discriminate”

From the April 6 edition of CNN's Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield:

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ASHLEIGH BANFIELD (HOST): I want to take you to Mississippi now and the backlash from equal rights groups and big businesses to this one-day-old law now allowing churches, and charities, and businesses, and even state officials the right to refuse services, based on religious grounds, to gay people and to transgender people. Governor says the legislation is meant to protect religious freedom, but the critics say it's just a blanket allowance for discrimination against the LGBT community. And it comes as pressure grows to repeal something similar in North Carolina, a law that requires transgender people in that state to use public restrooms that correspond with the sex that's listed on their birth certificates and not the sex that they identify with.

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BANFIELD: There was one other piece of language, and I'm going to have to paraphrase it, but it's odd. It stood out to me as something that might actually generate more interest from those who otherwise might have dismissed this or felt that they had any connection to this particular legislation. The law in Mississippi protects from discrimination claims from anyone who believes that marriage is between one man and one woman -- so if the cake baker doesn't want to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage, they get the protection from a discrimination lawsuit -- and then there's this: “and that sexual relations are reserved solely for marriage.” So, I wasn't aware of that until I just happened to notice it today. Does that mean that cake baker could refuse a couple that just lives together to bake a cake for someone who just lives together?

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. That's exactly what it means.

BANFIELD: Why is that not making bigger headlines? Because that affects millions and millions of people. I think a lot of people are sort of beyond the whole you can't have sex before you're married issue.

TOOBIN: Well I think, you know, first of all, this law just passed, and it was brought up very quickly. And this law, the Mississippi law makes the other laws look tiny just because of the kind of provisions you're talking about. And also the number of people and institutions that are allowed to discriminate under the Mississippi law. It's every business in the state. It's every church. It's every, it's the government itself. So the breadth of this law is really extraordinary, far greater than the North Carolina law or even the Indiana law that was overturned. So, you know, I think you're right to point out what an extreme version of the law is. But this is what the legislators wanted. I mean it wasn't a mistake.

Previously:

15 Experts Debunk Right-Wing Transgender Bathroom Myth

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

Watch A Transgender Activist Debunk The “Bathroom Predator” Myth On CNN

Seth Meyers Destroys NC “Bathroom Bill” : “No Evidence” Anyone “Exploited Equal Rights Laws To Commit Crimes In Bathrooms”