Mississippi Hospitality Group Starting 'Everyone's Welcome'

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi hospitality group says it's starting a campaign to promote inclusion after backlash over an incoming state law that says government workers, religious groups and private businesses can cite religious objections to same-sex marriage to deny services to people.

Mike Cashion, director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, said Thursday that the group will distribute decals with the slogan, "Everyone's Welcome Here," also promoting the message on the Internet.

He says the campaign reacts to Gov. Phil Bryant's signing of House Bill 1523, which becomes law July 1.

Cashion says the bill "created a level of controversy" that affects Mississippi's image.

Bryant says the bill reinforces the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. However, critics say it could lead to government-sanctioned discrimination against gay people.


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