PHOTOS: Hundreds of voices Mississippi Gov. Bryant ignored by signing HB 1523 into law


Credit: Kaylee Bradshaw

The day before Governor Phil Bryant officially signing the country's current most anti-LGBT bill into law, hundreds of LGBT advocates, the ACLU of Mississippi, ahd the Human Rights Campaign of MS held a press conference against HB 1523 at the State Capitol. The conference was followed by a rally outside of the governor's mansion, which also included the Southern Poverty Law Center and Planned Parenthood Southeast.


Credit: Brandiilyn Dear

HB 1523, a "license to discriminate" bill, could have catastrophic effects on the LGBT population in Mississippi. The bill has numerous provisions of great harm to LGBT Mississippians: denial of social and medical services, housing discrimination, employment discrimination for those whose identity or expression is perceived as contradictory to their employer's religious beliefs, foster care denial, denial of psychological therapy, and the fact that schools and business owners can decide to implement "sex-specific" standards. Additionally, these are just some of the potential scenarios that could arise from HB 1523:

Many Mississippians made their voices heard to Governor Bryant about HB 1523, but their concerns, experiences, expressions of faith, and testimonies went ignored by the elected official. One of vocal advocates was Barandiilyne Mangum-Dear, an LGBT advocate and award-winning pastor. As a religious leader, Mangum-Dear stated, "My Jesus, the one that I found in the Gospel, never rejected, nor condemned anyone...Jesus summed everything up in one word: Love."


Credit: Brandiilyn Dear

Brandiilyne continued on to directly address Governor Bryant: "I am your neighbor, Governor Bryant, and I am a lesbian." She goes on to say, "I am Mississippi, and we all deserve the same rights as the straight Mississippians. We deserve the same rights as every human, every citizen, not only in Mississippi, but in the United States." Brandiilyne Mangum-Dear's full speech can be seen here:

HB 1523

Posted by Brandiilyne Mangum-Dear on Monday, April 4, 2016

Mississippi transgender advocate Blossom Brown called for the veto of HB 1523. In her speech, she expressed disappointment in the state of Mississippi and Governor Bryant, saying, "We are the hospitality state. We do not discriminate against anyone. We are welcoming to any and everyone," regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. She then criticizes HB 1523, calling it a "stupid religious bill that is used to hurt and target one community." She takes an optimistic tone, urging that MIssissippi is better than this bill, and that she believes conservative Christians and the LGBT community can come together in spite of the hatred in this bill. Her speech can be viewed in full below:

Unfortunately, Governor Bryant dismissed the calls from Brandiilyne, Blossom, and hundreds of other Mississippians seeking freedom from discrimination, and signed HB 1523 into law today. His decision was made despite numerous organizations and businesses, both large and small, speaking out firmly against the anti-LGBT law. 

Here are some other pictures from the rally:


Credit: Helen Shaw Barnes


Credit: Kaylee Bradshaw


Credit: Brandiilyn Dear


Credit: Kaylee Bradshaw​


Credit: Brandiilyn Dear​


Credit: Brandiilyn Dear​


Credit: Brandiilyn Dear​


Credit: Brandiilyn De​ar


Credit: Brandiilyn Dear​