Republican Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi defended his state's new anti-LGBT law April 13 by saying it was essential to the balance of the "scales of justice" for religious people (video below).
According to RightWingWatch.org, Bryant made his assertions during a radio interview with Tim Weldon, of the Christian-based American Family Association, which has a long history of anti-gay positions.
Bryant speculated that churches, the AFA's radio program, a Catholic hospital, Mississippi College and pastors are going to be sued without the anti-LGBT law in place:
This is about something much bigger. This is about the churches. The next stop will be American Family Radio and it will be Mississippi College, it will be St. Dominic's Hospital as lawsuits will be filed.
It will be churches where pastors can say, "I can't perform that ceremony," a lawsuit will be filed, it will go to a federal court and the federal court will say, "Yes, they should be a protected class."
Those who choose to marry and want to be married in the church and that church might lose its tax-exempt status and they'll have to close. And church after church after church across this country will close.
USA TODAY noted in 2015: "The Supreme Court's ruling [for same-sex marriage] has no direct effect on churches or synagogues, which are free to follow the rules of their own faith on marriage. Its ruling affects only civil marriages."
We think people of faith have rights. I know that's a strange notion, but we believe the scales of justice must be balanced for those people of faith and those that have other ideas about their desires in life.
And that's what the scales of justice must do is be balanced and we believe that this is a step in protecting the civil liberties of people of faith just as the First Amendment of the Constitution does.
Stephen Seifert, of the Keystone Catholics organization, noted in The Huffington Post in 2015 that "religious freedom" has been used throughout American history to justify the slavery of black people and racist Jim Crow laws in the South.