By signing a "religious freedom" law designed to elevate religious beliefs above civil rights and protections for minorities, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has sided with religious extremists.
This law prevents any city from passing ordinances to protect LGBT people, makes it illegal for business to fire employees who refuse to provide services to LGBT people, and allows landlords to refuse to rent to unmarried couples or LGBT people.
These anti-LGBT beliefs are the only beliefs being "protected," of course. Because laws like this have nothing to do with protecting actual religious freedom and everything to do with anti-LGBT animus.
Even without such a law, it is already legal in Mississippi — as in most states in the country — to discriminate against LGBT people in providing employment, housing and public accommodation.
These laws make it impossible for cities or even private employers to extend basic protections to LGBT people.
These same arguments were made when the Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans and during the Civil Rights Era. We rejected demands for special exemptions for bigots hiding behind their religion and we should do the same.