Post submitted by Harry Hawkins, Field Organizer HRC Mississippi
Last week, over 400 supporters rallied in front of the Governor’s mansion in Jackson, Mississippi, to call on Governor Phil Bryant to veto HB 1523, the so-called “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act.” The discriminatory law, which Bryant signed into law last week, allows almost any individual or organization to use religion as a justification to discriminate against LGBTQ Mississippians.
In response to the horrific legislation, the community organized to show love and solidarity with LGBTQ Mississippians. We stood together to say, both spiritually and verbally, “No Hate in Our State.”
In addition to these voices of love and protest, major corporations, including The Coca-Cola Company, Northrop Grumman, Intel, Replacements, Ltd, Nissan Group of North America, Tyson Food Inc, MGM Resorts International, AT&T, IBM, MassMutual and Toyota, have publicly voiced their opposition to the appalling legislation.
Gov. Bryant also ignored the call of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association to veto the discriminatory measure. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has joined an effort to get more CEOs to speak publicly against the law, and top executives from Microsoft and IBM have asserted that the law is bad for business.
As a proud Mississippian, it’s almost hard to believe that in a state with failing schools, closing county hospitals and crumbling infrastructure, the legislature and the governor would find time to enact and enforce state-sanctioned discrimination.
HRC Mississippi will continue to mobilize supporters across the state to contact their state and local leaders to let them know the dangerous impact this law will have on our state. We will also continue to engage our business community through our Equality is Our Business program, including those business owners in the past several days that have bravely stood up and proclaimed that they are there to serve all customers. And finally, we are engaging our faith leaders and faith communities through a public letter campaign to voice opposition of this harmful law.