By Ran Aubrey Frazier
Originally published on Advocate.com April 07 2014 4:29 PM ET
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry had some choice words for Mississippi governor Phil Bryant on her eponymous news program Saturday, lambasting him for signing his state's so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last Thursday.
On its face, the bill — which is similar to an Arizona bill vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer in February — aims to "protect the individual religious freedom of Mississippians of all faiths from government interference." But in practice would allows businesses to discriminate against certain groups on the grounds of "religious freedom." As Harris-Perry asserted in her segment, the "vague" language in Mississippi's bill allowed it to sidestep the national controversy incited by Arizona's bill.
As in Arizona, state law already permits the firing (or not hiring) of LGBT people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity as well as the denial of housing.
"Governor, what you did was make it even easier than it already was to discriminate against LGBT Mississippians," Harris-Perry declared. "Basically, you gave bigots yet another avenue to dehumanize their LGBT neighbors."
Watch the video below.