April 6, 2016 at 5:12 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Clinton, Sanders speak out against Miss. ‘religious freedom’ law

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, gay news, Washington Blade

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders (Photos by Gino Santa Maria; courtesy Bigstock)

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders have joined the voices objecting to the newly enacted “religious freedom” law in Mississippi seen to enable sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination.

The campaign for Sanders was first to articulate opposition to bill via a Twitter post late Tuesday hours after Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the measure into law.

The Clinton campaign responded via Twitter to the Mississippi law more than 24 hours after Bryant signed the measure. The tweet isn’t signed with an “-H,” which would have indicated the message came directly from Clinton and not the campaign.

The Mississippi law, House Bill 1523, is considered the most sweeping law in the nation to enable anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.” It allows individuals, businesses and non-profit to deny services to same-sex couples and LGBT people. The measure also permits medical professionals to deny transition-related treatment to transgender people.

It’s not the first time Clinton has followed Sanders by several hours in denouncing an anti-LGBT state measure signed into law. After North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed anti-LGBT House Bill 2, Sanders responded shortly afterward, but Clinton responded nearly 24 hours after the governor signed the measure and 11 hours after Sanders.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Good for Bernie and Hillary.

    My only questions is, would Sec. Clinton make a similar comment AFTER the election?

  • Philadelphia on April 6th, 2016, will be remembered by millions as the place and time that Bernie Sanders rendered himself unfit to lead the Democratic Party and the United States of America.

    Sanders has always been a highly qualified protester– and a respected conscience for progressives and the country on a number of issues. Sanders has also brought new voters into the Democratic Party, creating something of a movement.

    However, as millions of Americans feared, Sanders has now proven that is *all* he is capable of doing.

    Tonight, in Philadelphia, sadly, Bernie Sanders lost the good will and respect of millions of Democrats and Independents. He will never get that back.

  • Private businesses should be allowed to conduct business as they see fit. Arbitrary refusal of a customer is a freedom an owner should be allowed to exercise.

    • So you think “no blacks allowed” would be an acceptable business practice?

      • Acceptable socially? No.
        A good business decision? Absolutely not.
        Acceptable federally? None of their business.

        • Position noted.

          So is your opinion relative only to LGBT people, or would you also say that Woolworth’s should have been able to refuse service to African Americans too?

          • As stated in my initial post:
            “Arbitrary refusal of a customer is a freedom an owner should be allowed to exercise.”
            This is not to say I personally endorse the refusal of service based on sexual orientation or race, but that I support a person’s freedom to make a bad business decision for their own privately owned business.

          • the Constitution of the United States says otherwise

          • The power granted to the United States Congress by the Commerce Clause is constantly under heavy debate, with relatively frequent alterations of its official interpretation, does not necessarily relate to civil rights, and does not necessarily bar all forms of business from denying service based on racial or other traits. The Commerce Clause has been used to regulate the services of public accommodations such as restaurants and lodgings by making it illegal for them to deny service based on race because such an act impedes interstate travel. However, the classification of “public accommodations” does not necessarily apply to all forms of business, and its applicability and legality is debatable.
            Regardless, there is a difference between “should” and “is currently”.

          • Agreed with King here.

            Of course racial and sexual discrimination are morally and practically wrong, but equal protection under the law should only apply to what the government does. Trying to legislate on discrimination in private affairs is legislating morality, the flip side those who want to outlaw us for being who we are; this is dangerous because us trying to legislate our morality makes it valid for them to try to legislate theirs against us. Laws against sexual acts and same sex marriage were always illegitimate, but fights such as this one concede the point that fundamental rights are up for debate (they aren’t and they never were).
            And of course legalizing private discrimination would lead to people doing horrible things, but (aside from the above point) banning vices (and stupidity) has never lead to a change in attitudes.

            That being said, in the here and now the issue is a bit murkier because (as I understand it) business are required to sign contracts that deign them public services and then they are required to and should follow regulations concerning discrimination. So it goes.

          • Is running a Lunch Counter, with a business license provided by the local municipality considered a “private affair”?

          • Nobody is trying to outlaw anyone for being who they are. Except for those people who are against the 14th Amendment.

          • On this you are wrong.

          • Mind elaborating?

          • This has nothing to do with the Commerce clause and everything to do with the 14th Amendment.

          • The commerce clause was brought up by another poster, so I responded in regards to it.
            The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment protects you from the state denying you equal protection of the laws. It does not apply to private universities or businesses.

          • You could have simply said:

            “Yes, I think Woolworth’s should have been allowed to refuse service to African Americans”

          • So, equal treatment under the law means nothing to you?

          • Anybody can be denied service for any reason, this is the definition of “arbitrary” in this context. This is not equal?

        • commerce clause

    • sorry, not in the United States – you are wrong and wrong headed

  • Hillary “follows” Bernie. This has been a pattern throughout the campaigns.

  • What part of ‘equal treatment under the law’ did these people not understand? Don’t they understand that when these laws get to the SCOTUS they will be struck down because they violate the 14th Amendment??

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