Less than 24 hours after Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 1523 into law, a national backlash has begun.
Commonly known as the "Religious Liberty Accommodation Act," the law will allow services to be denied to gays based on the deniers' moral and religious convictions.
Its passage thrust the state back into the national spotlight Tuesday afternoon, with the topic trending on major news sites and social media. States such as Vermont, New York and Minnesota have banned state-paid travel to Mississippi because of the law, which will take effect July 1.
Although Fortune 500 company is based in Mississippi, several industries including Toyota, Nissan North America, MGM Resorts, which owns Biloxi's Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, as well as Pascagoula's Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard have all voiced opposition to the law, stating it violates their diversity and inclusion policies.
On Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT civil rights group, announced that executives from GE, Dow Chemical, PepsiCo, Hewlett Packard, Hyatt Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Levi Strauss and Whole Foods signed an open letter to Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Rep. Philip Gunn asking that the bill be repealed.
Some local leaders have also taken to social media to criticize its passage.
Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich on Tuesday released a statement on the city's Facebook page to declare Biloxi will not be part of any discrimination.
"We do not discriminate, period," he said.
Gilich has also asked the City Council to pass a resolution in opposition to the legislation.
In the resolution, he said, "The City of Biloxi is widely known for its cultural diversity and hospitality to all people and welcomes all citizens and visitors," and "the City of Biloxi does not sanction or tolerate discrimination against its citizens or visitors and seeks to preserve and protect the rights of all individuals regardless of religion or identity."
Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran has voiced opposition on her Facebook page, as well, saying it will be detrimental to the state's economy.
The Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association also sent a letter to Bryant on Monday.
It read: "MH&LA respects the diversity of our residents and visitors, and believes that inclusive treatment of all people is good for the workplace, marketplace and society as a whole. We are opposed to any Laws, including House Bill 1523, that permit government and/or businesses to decline to provide services to individuals because of their diversity. Laws such as this contradict our basic American values of equality and respect for all human beings, and result in a negative impact upon our Tourism Industry and the economy of the State."
The following have taken a stance against the bill:
State Rep. Jeramey Anderson, D-Escatawpa
State Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis
State Sen. Deborah Dawkins, D-Pass Christian
State Rep. Scott Delano, R-Biloxi
Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich
Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran
State Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport
NATIONAL COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS
Caesars Entertainment, parent company of Harrah's in Biloxi
Choice Hotels International
Huntington Ingalls Industries
Hard Rock Casino Biloxi
Hewlett Packard Enterprises
Levi Strauss & Co
MGM Resorts, parent of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
Nissan North America
Planned Parenthood Southeast
Southern Poverty Law Center
Tyson Food Inc.
ACLU of Mississippi
Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
Human Rights Campaign Mississippi
National Association of Social Workers, Mississippi Chapter
Mississippi Democratic Party
Mississippi Economic Council
Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association
Mississippi Manufacturers Association
Mississippi Restaurant & Hospitality Association
Mississippi State University
LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS
Amy Lynn Photography & Design
Ann Madden Photography + Design
Art En Noir in Pascagoula
Back Bay Mission
Bayou Motors in Waveland
Bayou Vending in Waveland
Biloxi Little Theatre
BR Studios and Designs
Casa Verde Vacation Rental
Charisma "A Girl's Best Outfit"
Cheeky Monkey Cake Company
Corazon Artisan Jewelry
Dane's Barber Ship
Diana Odom Photography
Edward Madden Woodworks
Ellis Law Firm
Fleur de Lis Bakery
French Kiss Pastries
Greenhouse on Porter
The Guice Agency
Gulf Coast Tattoo Co.
Irish Coast Pub in Gulfport
Jaimee Designs Web Studio
Jennifer Kelly Financial
Jester's Wine & Spirits
Just Us Lounge
Koerber Law Firm
Law Offices of Judy M Guice, PA
Mattress by Appointment in Gautier
Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce
Murky Waters Blues & BBQ
Prep by KUG in Ocean Springs
Photography by Fred Salinas
Photography by Malissa May
PrescriptFit Medical Nutrition Theraphy & Weight Loss Plan
Prime Time Agency
Real Estate Professionals of the South
Rochelle Harper Band
S&J Autos in Bay St. Louis and Biloxi
Sekul's Pool Service LLC
Seymour Law Firm
Sister Swank Boutique in Long Beach
Smith & Lens in Bay St. Louis
Southern Bound Book Shop
Steve Andrews Salong
Tailgaters Sports Pub & Grill in Biloxi
Take Two Video Pro
The Swap Shop
Third Coast Costume
Truck City of the Gulf Coast in Bay St. Louis
Two Generations Beauty Salon
Twisted Anchor Tattoo Gallery
W.P. Shelton Jewelers