(Jackson, MS) — Anyone who provides services to the public could not be punished for acting on religious beliefs that oppose gay marriage, under a bill advancing in the Mississippi Legislature. Friday Representatives voted 80-39 to pass House Bill 1523, which specifies people couldn’t be punished for acting on beliefs that only married couples should have sexual relations and that a person’s gender identity is set at birth. The bill could let circuit clerks refuse to issue marriage licenses or judges refuse to perform marriage ceremonies for gay or lesbian couples. Organizations could also refuse to place children with gay parents and the state could not punish them. The bill is being held for the possibility for more debate before it goes to the Senate.