The Mississippi Senate voted Wednesday evening to pass a religious freedom bill called the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act.”
The legislation says business, social workers and public employees cannot be punished for denying services based on the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, and protects individuals who believe gender is determined at birth, according to NBC News.
Supporters say the bill protects the civil liberties of Mississippi residents from government interference, while those opposed believe it stains the state’s reputation. The governor told NBC station WLBT last week that he didn’t believe it was discriminatory.
The Senate voted 31-17 to pass the bill. and heads to the House before the legislation goes to the governor’s desk.