Lt. Governor Reeves appreciates Fifth Circuit decision on HB1523

Lt. Governor Reeves appreciates Fifth Circuit decision on HB1523

MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - Lt. Governor Tate Reeves has issued a statement of appreciation to The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after their ruling on House Bill 1523.

The court reversed a judge's decision on Thursday that had blocked the law before it could take effect last July, according to the Associated Press.

Mississippi can now start enforcing the law.

Lt. Governor Reeves issued the following statement regarding the ruling:

"House Bill 1523 simply protected Mississippians from government interference when practicing their deeply held religious beliefs, and I appreciate the Fifth Circuit clearing the path for this law to take effect," Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said.

HB1523, also known as the Religious Accommodation Act, will let business owners and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

Opponents of the bill said, for example, that the law would allow a wedding caterer to refuse service to a gay couple, based on their religious beliefs, or a circuit clerk could deny that same couple a marriage license, circumventing Federal law.

Gay and straight plaintiffs who sued the state said the law gives "special protections to one side" in a religious debate, according to the Associate Press.

The law drew national criticism when first proposed.

Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Roberts, Sharon Stone, Tracy Morgan and Belinda Carlise were public with their disagreement in the law.

Many writers and film industry workers vowed to not work in the state because of the law.

Many businesses, such as GE and Pepsi, voiced their concern on how the law would affect state economy.

Former President Barack Obama also called the law, "wrong."