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Belinda Carlisle plans anti-HB 1523 vigil Saturday in Biloxi

Belinda Carlisle has a gay son.
Belinda Carlisle has a gay son. INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

BILOXI -- Pop singer Belinda Carlisle will help lead a "candlelight vigil" at the IP Casino Resort on Saturday night after her performance. The vigil is a peaceful protest of the "religious freedom" bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant earlier this month.

The vigil will start at 11 p.m. It is free to all.

"We're calling it a candlelight vigil, but you can't actually burn candles inside Studio A at the IP," organizer Brandiilyne Dear of Hattiesburg said. "So, we are giving out glow sticks to those that want to attend.

She said Carlisle is expected to speak at the vigil.

Carlisle, whose songs include "Heaven on Earth" and "Mad About You," as well as her catalog of hits with her rock band the Go-Go's, recently wrote to Bryant expressing her outrage over the bill.

Carlisle, the mother of a gay son and activist, said she thought about cancelling her performance in Biloxi.

"Belinda contacted some friends in the LGBT community," Dear said of the vigil, "and they contacted me about getting something together. We only had 10 days to get this together and the IP has been very helpful in allowing us to do this."

Dear said she has invited some Coast mayors to attend the ceremony. A petition will be circulated that encourages state lawmakers to repeal the bill.

"I wish more cities in the state would follow what some of the Coast mayors are doing and speak out against HB 1523," dear said. "It keeps us stuck in a cycle of hate."

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