Defying the trend of Republican governors in other states, the governor of Mississippi has signed a law protecting people of conscience from being compelled to participate in same-sex ceremonies.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” (H.B. 1523) yesterday, saying that the government may not compel religious organizations or individuals who have a sincere objection to take part in any homosexual couple’s “wedding.”

“I am signing H.B. 1523 into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations, and private associations from discriminatory actions from state government or its political subdivisions,” Gov. Bryant said in a statement released this afternoon.

For instance, the state must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, individual state employees may ask for a recusal, provided someone else will do so and the “licensing of any legally valid marriage is not impeded or delayed.”

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