Mississippi pastor speaks out, says #NOHB1523

Award-winning pastor, LGBT Mississippi advocate, and featured cast member of the documentary L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, Brandiilyne Dear has released a statement about the harmful HB 1523 that is expected to be signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant at any time.

The faith-filled and personal statement speaks to the experience of being an LGBT Christian woman in Mississippi and the harmful impact HB 1523 would have, not just on the community, but on the state as a whole.

Bradniilyne's statement reads:

“Paul said, ‘when I was a child, I spoke as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ He said this as an introduction to the love chapter in Corinthians. There is probably no place more Christian than Mississippi, but I tell you, it is time for Mississippi to put away the childish behavior of discrimination. It is NOT Christian. Stand up and tell Governor Phil Bryant not to sign HB 1523. It repulsive, childish, and harmful; the Governor should not sign it! 

“I speak as a lesbian, a mother, a wife, and a Pastor. I am a friend, a daughter, and a student. You see I am more than my sexuality, as is every person in the LGBTQ community. Sadly, our state legislators refuse to see our full humanity. They have just passed this horrific bill (HB 1523) which makes me and almost everyone vulnerable to discrimination and hate,” she said. “If Governor Bryant signs this bill, it will be legal to hire, fire, deny service, and establish dress and behavior codes based on any ‘sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.’

“Legislators seem to think they are invincible, but they, too, are more vulnerable today,” said the pastor. “All people in Mississippi are now open to having someone say to them, ‘You are not welcome here. My religion says you are a sinner—my religion says, you are a son of Ham—my religion says women should not teach men—my religion says a lot of things, and we don’t take your money here.’ Is that what we want? I don’t think so.

“Governor Bryant, do not turn your back on Mississippi. Do not sign this dastardly bill that sets us back 50 years!” said Pastor Mangum-Dear. “Today I say, I AM Mississippi, and my voice and my rights are relevant. We, LGBTQ, are Mississippi! We are your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and neighbors. We are teachers, students, doctors, and pastors.

“‘Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. This IS the greatest commandment.’ We are your neighbors, and we deserve to be treated equally and respectfully without discrimination!”

The Southern Povery Law Center helps breaks down the pervasive impact of discrimination within the bill: 


GLAAD has been speaking out against discriminatory laws in several states, including most recently Georgia, North Carolina, and South Dakota. GLAAD’s resource, "Debunking the 'Bathroom Bills Myth'" is a valuable resource for journalists and everyday people to understand the importance and impact of nondiscrimination bills, and ways to debunk falsehoods that often are raised in opposition to such bills. GLAAD is calling on media, both in Mississippi and nationally, to ask media to hold promoters of such discriminatory bills as HB 1523 accountable for false claims they have made.

LGBT advocates and media figures can also find background information about the LGBT community in Mississippi through GLAAD's guidebook on the state. GLAAD developed the resource with the ACLU of Mississippi and The PRISM Center.



Tweet your opposition to Mississippi’s ‘license to discriminate’ bill using the hashtag #NoHB1523. Follow GLAAD on social media for regular updates about HB 1523.