PA SUPPORTERS CELEBRATE MISS. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY VICTORY
JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Thursday that supporters say will assure unfettered practice of religion without government interference but that opponents worry could lead to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The bill, called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, will become law July 1. It also will add "In God We Trust" to the state seal.
The small signing ceremony was attended by a few elected officials, lobbyists for the state's influential Southern Baptist Convention and Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council. The council, a conservative Washington-based group, has pushed states to enact laws that mirror the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that President Bill Clinton signed in 1993.
Perkins said Mississippi becomes the 19th state to enact its own religious-practices law since 1996.
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