Dozens attend LGBT Pride Day amid HB 1523 concerns - - Jackson, MS

Dozens attend LGBT Pride Day amid HB 1523 concerns


As members of Jackson's LGBT community met for the Capital City's first gay pride parade and festival Saturday, many say they're still fearful over the implications of House Bill 1523, which becomes law next month.

"Government is too busy in people's personal lives. That is my concern," said Valencia Robinson, Executive Director of Mississippi in Action.

House Bill 1523, also known as the Religious Accommodations Act, becomes law in less than three weeks.

"The ramifications of this bill are far-reaching and we're not even sure exactly how bad this bill is but we know it's one of the worst," said Rob Hill, state president of the Human Rights Campaign in Mississippi.

Some of the dozens who attended Jackson's first gay pride festival in Fondren Park, Saturday, said they're not sure what could happen as a result of the new law, and Robinson said that fear is a powerful motivator.

Still, she is inspired by Saturday's turnout.

"This is the time that we can come together and support each other and really understand what this legislation is going to do to people," Robinson said. "July 1st, we may not even be able to use this park. It just depends on people's religious beliefs and religious convictions."

"This is a population that's already vulnerable in our state because of a lack of laws that offer protections in the workplace, housing and public accommodations, and so a law like this further disenfranchises an already vulnerable population," Hill added.

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