This is almost as ironic as Aaron Schock appearing on a box of Wheaties. On Saturday, the New York-Mississippi Society will hold its annual picnic in Central Park. 5,000 people are expected to attend, including Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who plans on traveling Northward from the Bible belt to encourage liberal New Yorkers to vacation in (and even move to!) Mississippi.
So where’s the irony?
Well, Governor Phil Bryant is extremely conservative, especially when it comes to gay rights. And he’ll been giving his speech less than two weeks before the kickoff of New York’s Gay Pride festivities and the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969.
In April, Bryant signed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which becomes law July 1. It’s basically Mississippi’s version of Arizona’s draconian SB1062 bill. The Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act permits state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians by allowing businesses to refuse to serve them on the basis of religion.
But some folks aren’t having it.
Gay rights activists from Get EQUAL Mississippi, PFLAG of Jackson, and two welcoming congregations are making a pilgrimage from Mississippi to New York, where they plan on staging a protest and passing out stickers that proclaim support for the LGBT community and for all the people in Mississippi who have been marginalized by Bryant and this hateful legislation. Their motto for the protest is “Ya’ll Means ALL.”
Martin Todd Allen is one of the people spearheading the protest.
“5000 people are expected to attend this Mississippi-New York picnic in Central Park,” he tells Queerty in an e-mail. “And the few of us cannot do this without the help New York friends and LGBTQ allies.”
Allen is asking any one in New York who may be free to help distribute stickers to join them at the picnicon on June 14th from noon to 6 p.m.
We can’t help but wonder what Cher, who will be performing in NYC at the end of the summer, thinks about Governor Phil Bryant bringing his hate show to the Big Apple…