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Updated list: Companies, local businesses, public figures oppose HB 1523

Protesters call for Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to veto House Bill 1523, which they say will allow discrimination against LGBT people, during a rally outside the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, April 4, 2016.
Protesters call for Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to veto House Bill 1523, which they say will allow discrimination against LGBT people, during a rally outside the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, April 4, 2016. AP

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.

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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 Philip Gunn asking that the bill be repealed.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.

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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

Lance Bass

Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran

State Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport



Caesars Entertainment, parent company of Harrah's in Biloxi


Choice Hotels International

Continental Tire

Dow Chemical


General Electric

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Hard Rock Casino Biloxi

Hewlett Packard Enterprises

Hyatt Hotels


Levi Strauss & Co

Mass Mutual


MGM Resorts, parent of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino

Nissan North America

Pepsico Inc.

Planned Parenthood Southeast


Southern Poverty Law Center


Tyson Food Inc.

Whole Foods



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

Millsaps College


Amy Lynn Photography & Design

Ann Madden Photography + Design

Art En Noir in Pascagoula

Artsy Fartsy

Avalon Announcements

Back Bay Mission

Bay Books

Bay Emporium

Bay Town

Bay Travel

Bayou Motors in Waveland

Bayou Vending in Waveland

Bella Mar

Biloxi Little Theatre

Bizzee Bee

Bonner Collection

BR Studios and Designs

Buddyrow Creative

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

Evolution Leisure

Evolution Soccer

Exclusive Taxi

Fleur de Lis Bakery

French Kiss Pastries

French Potager

GC Vapors

Ghost Agency

Gourmet Galley

Greenhouse on Porter

The Guice Agency

Gulf Coast Tattoo Co.

Identity Vintage

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

Magnolia Antiques

MashaWorks Solutions

Mattress by Appointment in Gautier

Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce

Mockingbird Cafe

Murky Waters Blues & BBQ

Nettles Pottery

Odom Creative

Prep by KUG in Ocean Springs

Photography by Fred Salinas

Photography by Malissa May

PrescriptFit Medical Nutrition Theraphy & Weight Loss Plan

Prime Time Agency

Purple Banana

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

Social Chair

Southern Bound Book Shop

Starfish Cafe

Steve Andrews Salong

Sycamore House

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

Unabridged Architecture

Unforgettable Travel

Wood Arts

W.P. Shelton Jewelers

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