Attorney sound bite: Kevin Theriot
WHO: ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot
WHAT: Available for media interviews after oral arguments in Barber v. Bryant
WHEN: Monday, April 3, immediately following hearing, which begins at 3 p.m. CDT
WHERE: George H. Mahon Federal Building, 1205 Texas Ave., Room C-216, Lubbock
LUBBOCK, Texas – Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot will be available for media interviews following oral arguments Monday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit concerning a Mississippi law that protects its citizens against government discrimination based on their view of marriage. ADF attorneys will not be arguing Monday but are part of Gov. Phil Bryant’s legal team defending the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, HB 1523.
The law protects citizens, public servants, businesses, and religious institutions from government reprisal for operating publicly according to their belief that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman. Bryant signed the overwhelmingly popular bill into law in April 2016, but a federal district court granted a request to block it shortly thereafter.
“Americans shouldn’t have to live in fear of government punishment simply for affirming marriage as a man-woman union,” said Theriot. “Good laws like Mississippi’s protect freedom and harm no one. Those challenging this law want to restrict freedom and impose their beliefs on others by ensuring dissenters are left open to the government discrimination that has already occurred in states without protective laws like this one.”
As a brief filed on behalf of the governor in January
explained to the 5th Circuit in Barber v. Bryant
and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant
, “Section 3(5) [the law HB 1523 created] protects businesses only from being compelled to participate in, or lend direct assistance to, a marriage ceremony between people of the same sex—if (and only if) such participation or direct assistance would violate the owners’ religious or moral beliefs…. HB 1523…simply protects others from being forced to affirm conduct that violates their conscientious beliefs. No one has a ‘fundamental right’ to force an unwilling participant to attend or provide services at his or her wedding.”
- Pronunciation guide: Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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