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Heavy rains will not stop Jones Park rally from noon-4 p.m. today

By JEFF CLARK

jclark@sungherald.comTwitter: thejeffclark

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 Gulfport resident Charlotte Ferguson is organizing the No Hate in Our State rally for noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Jones Park in Gulfport's harbor off U.S. 90 south of downtown.
FACEBOOK logo for group Gulfport resident Charlotte Ferguson is organizing the No Hate in Our State rally for noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Jones Park in Gulfport's harbor off U.S. 90 south of downtown.

GULFPORT -- A rally against HB 1523, commonly known as the “religious freedom bill,” will go on as planned, even with a near 100 percent chance for heavy rain today. Rainfall of up to two to four inches is predicted.

The No Hate in Our State rally is scheduled to begin at noon at Jones Park in Gulfport.

​"​Our​ ​No Hate in Our State rally is very important to us and we will not back down to hate and bigotry even if it means getting a little wet,” said organizer Charlotte Ferguson. “However, if lightning is in the area, we will retreat to our cars or to a pavilion until the Lightning has passed.”

Ferguson said she is extending the rally until around 4 p.m. in hopes of drawing more people.

“We want to send a message,” she said. “Hopefully, some people that couldn’t be there because of the rain will come later in the day.

The rally is a peaceful protest to the bill which will allow businesses and ​other entities to deny services to members of the LGBT based on religious or moral convictions.

Ferguson’s rally comes on the same day that evangelist Franklin Graham is scheduled to hold the Mississippi Prayer Rally in Jackson.

The rally in Jones Park is the second on the Coast since Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill a week ago. Photographer Susan Guice organized a peaceful protest in front of the Biloxi Visitors Center on Friday, April 8..

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