Michelle Obama Slams Religious Freedom Law During Commencement Speech

By Melanie Arter | April 25, 2016 | 2:41pm EDT
First lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - First lady Michelle Obama criticized the religious freedom law in Mississippi during a commencement speech at Jackson State University in Mississippi on Saturday.

“If we fail to exercise our fundamental right to vote, then I guarantee that so much of the progress we’ve fought for will be under threat,” she said. “Congress will still be gridlocked. Statehouses will continue to roll back voting rights and write discrimination into the law.


“We see it right here in Mississippi — just two weeks ago -– how swiftly progress can hurtle backward, how easy it is to single out a small group and marginalize them because of who they are or who they love,” Mrs. Obama said.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, in Mississippi, HB 1523 or the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, would protect religious organizations and individuals from being forced to act against their faith on matters involving same-sex marriage. Government officials who want to recuse themselves from involvement in a same-sex marriage would have to take “all necessary steps” to ensure that a marriage license is not delayed.

“So we’ve got to stand side by side with all our neighbors –- straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu immigrant, Native American — because the march for civil rights isn’t just about African-Americans, it’s about all Americans,” she said.

“It’s about making things more just, more equal, more free for all our kids and grandkids. That’s the story you all have the opportunity to write. That’s what this historic university has prepared you to do,” Mrs. Obama added.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, during a joint press conference in the UK on Friday, President Barack Obama said Friday that laws like the one in Mississippi and North Carolina’s bathroom law “are wrong and should be overturned.”

As CNSNews.com previously reported, North Carolina’s law, H.B. 2, is “an act to provide for single-sex multiple occupancy bathroom and changing facilities in schools and public agencies and to create statewide consistency in regulation of employment and public accommodations.”

It also states that those restrooms are to be used according to one’s biological sex – “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.” The law also allows for “accommodations” by allowing entities to provide single-use restrooms “upon a person’s request due to special circumstances.”

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