MICHAEL CLIFFORD: You cannot cloak bigotry in religion

July 5, 2014 

Iam a heterosexual, white male, married with three children. I have many friends and a number of relatives who are gay and lesbian. (Most of us do, whether we realize it or not.) I wish to voice my opposition to the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which went into effect last week in Mississippi.

No one should have the freedom to discriminate against others based on their sexual orientation, regardless of their religious beliefs. As I understand it, this new law will allow business owners to do exactly that, to turn away customers because they disagree with their lifestyle. This is a throwback to the times of Jim Crow, when blacks were denied a seat at the lunch counter or forced to ride at the back of the bus.

Once again, Mississippi is on the wrong side of history. Make no mistake about it. You cannot cloak your bigotry in religion. Injustice is injustice. And you will be marked as a bigot.

I hope that everyone, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, will think twice before acting on the "freedom" permitted by this new law.

MICHAEL CLIFFORD

Ocean Springs

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