JACKSON, Mississippi (LifeSiteNews) — Republican leaders in Mississippi have again killed a bill that would require religious exemptions for school vaccine mandates.
“We had 7 bills authored this year to give parents a religious exemption from childhood vaccines to attend school or daycare,” Vance Cox with Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights told LifeSiteNews via email. “The two that we were pushing were [Senator Chris McDaniels’] in the Senate 2766 and [Representative Steve Hopkins’] bill in the House 1302.”
Senate 2766 would require school vaccine exemptions for anyone who “swears or affirms that the immunization required conflicts with the religious beliefs of the parent or guardian.” House Bill 1302 would do the same.
Cox alleged that Senator David Blount, a Republican, killed a religious exemption bill and that Richard Bennett, the House education committee chairman, took the Hopkins exemption bill off the agenda.
Cox said that House leadership “rarely [allows controversial] bills to even come up for a vote.”
He alleged that Blount and Bennett “killed the bills under direct influence” from Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. Hosemann’s duties include serving as the president of the state Senate.
Hosemann is one of the few Catholic Republican leaders in Mississippi. He did not respond to a LifeSiteNews request on Friday for comment on his position on vaccine exemptions and his role in the legislation. Neither Gunn nor Bennett responded to a Friday request for comment.
The state remains one of the few under Republican control that does not offer a religious exemption for vaccination. “As it stands, Mississippi is 1 of 6 states out of 50 and the only red state that does not offer this religious freedom by way of childhood vaccination exemption,” American Family Association reported.
“I speak for a large and passionate portion of the Mississippi population when I say, it should be a parent’s informed decision of what vaccines – if any – are right for their child(ren),” staff writer Lauren Bragg commented.
Even liberal Massachusetts allows vaccine religious exemptions, as reported last summer by LifeSiteNews.
Mississippi joins Biden administration in coercing shots
The state’s Republican leaders views on vaccines appear to align less with conservative southerners and more with the views of Democratic President Joe Biden.
As extensively covered by LifeSiteNews, Biden and his Department of Defense have tried to kick out men and women in uniform for declining to take the abortion-tainted COVID-19 jabs for religious reasons.
One Navy chaplain called the refusal of religious exemptions a “kick in the gut.”
“It’s a kick in the gut for sure,” the unnamed chaplain told Fox News last February, after being denied a religious exemption. “If I lose retirement benefits [by being discharged], that would be a pretty significant burden to me and my family. At the same time, this is a fight worth fighting. I do not think this is a lawful order.”
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