Hundreds of state civil rights advocates will join HRC President Chad Griffin, former NAACP President Ben Jealous and other equality partners at HRC’s Rally to Repeal H.B. 1523, today at 3:30 p.m. CT, rain or shine, on the south side of the Mississippi State Capitol.
Advocates will march from the Capitol to the Governor’s Mansion for the rally, where they will call on Governor Phil Bryant, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn to listen to the broad chorus of fair-minded voters, national and local businesses, entertainers and sports figures, calling for the repeal of this discriminatory measure before it goes into effect on July 1.
H.B. 1523 has opened a massive loophole allowing almost any individual or organization to use broad justifications to discriminate against LGBTQ Mississippians at work, at school and in their communities. Under this new law, almost any individual or organization could justify discrimination against LGBTQ people, single mothers, unwed couples, and others. Tax-payer funded faith-based organizations could: refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for provision of critical services including emergency shelter; deny children in need of loving homes placement with LGBTQ families including the child’s own family member; and refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBTQ person -- even if the organization receives government funding. HB 1523 even legalizes Kim Davis-style discrimination by allowing government employees to abdicate their duties and refuse to license or solemnize marriages for LGBTQ people.