One Equal World

Mississippi Businesses Are Fighting LGBT Discrimination Law

Posted on: April 17, 2014

We-dont-discriminate-stickerArizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to “exercise their religious beliefs” by not allowing gays and lesbians to frequent their establishments. When Brewer shot the bill 1062 down, gay rights advocates who had gathered outside the Capitol cheered and celebrated along with other opponents of the bill.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, said at the time that Brewer “demonstrated that basic respect for LGBT people extends across party lines, and anti-LGBT bias isn’t just bad politics, it’s bad for business.”

Now in Mississippi, SB2681, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is another discriminatory law set on anti-gay, recently signed by Governor Phil Bryant. Proponents claim the law isn’t as strict as the Arizona proposal, but civil rights advocates says it’s a blatant way to set a path for anti-LGBT statutes.

But now business owners in Mississippi are fighting back, saying they don’t agree with the new law. Stickers stating “We Don’t Discriminate. If you’re buying, we’re selling” are making their ways to window fronts. The blue stickers with the rainbow banner are popping up in urban neighborhoods, is a way for business owners to respond to the law and show possible customers they don’t discriminate.

Eddie Outlaw owns a hair salon and is an LGBT activist. He says the immediate reaction has been overwhelming. “The response has been incredibly positive,” says Outlaw. “Mississippians are taking a stand against discrimination of any kind, and I’m proud to be a part of a business community united in that fight.”

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