Mick Bullock, Phil BryantMississippi legislators on Tuesday took up and quickly passed a controversial religious freedom bill that could allow state residents to sue over laws they say place a substantial burden on their religious practices. Supporters of the measure [pdf] say it would protect religious freedoms, while opponents say it could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. A similar bill that passed Arizona’s legislature earlier this year, but Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed it after the bill drew loud protests from gay rights and civil liberties groups. The Mississippi version was on life support after two earlier versions missed key deadlines, but legislators resurrected it in a conference committee last week. That committee stripped out some of the language that civil rights groups objected to. The House and Senate, both of which are controlled by Republicans, took up identical versions on Tuesday and passed them by wide margins. More