One Man Picketer Supports HB1523
House Bill 1523, also called the Religious Accommodation Act, has people across our nation up in arms. Some calling the state’s new legislation discriminatory while others praise it as a protection of individual religious rights. News 25’s Kristen Durand caught up with a picketer in Gulfport today on a one-man crusade, as well as the Coast Coliseum director for an update on one global entertainer who has cancelled his Biloxi concert plans.
Last week opponents of the new religious freedom law picketed in protest of the new legislation. Monday morning, Rick Webb launched a one-man picket in support of HB1523 outside of the Harrison County Courthouse. “Without this bill, Christians are discriminated against. They’re forced to compromise their faith,” said Webb.
Webb’s sidewalk march and bright pink sign drew attention from those in the downtown area, but HB1523 reaches far beyond this sidewalk, casting all of Mississippi in the national spotlight, prompting some to cancel events in the state. “People concerned about big corporations pulling out and movie makers pulling out but you know, Mississippi provides the best tax advantages for those people that’s why they came here to begin with and they’re all about money and I find it highly doubtful that they’re going to pull out,” said Webb.
But a number of entertainers don’t feel the same way. Bryan Adams is the latest fallout since Governor Bryant signed the bill into law, pulling his performance that was set to coincide with the upcoming Crawfish Musical Festival, but directors of the event say the show must go on. Coast Coliseum Executive Director Matt McDonnell said, “Every one of the acts that we have listed on the Crawfish Music Festival website and on all of our printed material, all those acts are scheduled to play and will be playing outdoors, rain or shine.”
McDonnell says refunds will be issued to concert ticket holders from their point of purchase once the Coliseum receives official word from the Bryan Adams concert promoter, Live Nation, about moving forward.
And moving forward from the fallout of HB 1523 is something all Mississippians can likely agree on.
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