2017 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Lamar
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, CLERGY, MINISTERS AND CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OFFICIATE ANY MARRIAGE OR PROVIDE SERVICES IF THAT ACTION WOULD CAUSE THE ORGANIZATION OR INDIVIDUAL TO VIOLATE A SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF; TO PROVIDE THAT THE REFUSAL TO SOLEMNIZE ANY MARRIAGE OR PROVIDE SERVICES BASED ON A RELIGIOUS BELIEF IS NOT THE BASIS FOR A CIVIL OR CRIMINAL CAUSE OF ACTION AND PROTECTED ORGANIZATIONS OR INDIVIDUALS SHALL NOT BE PENALIZED OR HAVE BENEFITS WITHHELD FOR REFUSING SUCH SERVICES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) A religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, an individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment or a clergy member, Rabbi, minister or other spiritual leader shall not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation or celebration of any marriage if such action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief.
(2) A refusal to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods or privileges under subsection (1) of this section is not the basis for a civil or criminal cause of action or any other action by this state or a political subdivision of this state to penalize or withhold any benefits or privileges, including tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants or licenses, from any organization or individual protected in subsection (1) of this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.