The Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association (MHRA) has created an “Everyone’s Welcome Here” campaign in response to the state’s recently passed religious liberty law.
In a statement, the MHRA spoke of Mississippi’s religious liberty law and the negative image it’s projecting on the state as a whole:
Mike Cashion, the Executive Director of the MHRA states, “When HB 1523 was signed, Mississippi was thrust into the national spotlight. Regardless of its intent, this legislation has created a level of controversy and public perception that affects the image of our state and the hospitality community. And while we may not be able to manage the image and brand of the entire state, we can affect the image of our restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses. When our industry is challenged, we as an organization will take prudent steps to protect and promote the restaurant and hospitality industry.”
The MHRA will design, print and distribute door decals to restaurant or hospitality related business that would like to convey the message that “EVERYONE’S WELCOME HERE.” The MHRA will create a web presence that will list a master directory of participating restaurants and businesses. The Association and its members will use social media to support the campaign and convey a message of inclusivity.
Cashion adds, “Our industry serves a diverse customer base and we want to make sure all customers are appreciated and welcomed. We have a very clear and strong message to convey. Mississippi’s restaurant industry is open for everyone’s business.”
Recently, CNN host Don Lemon blasted the religious liberty law as “just a code for discrimination” and saying that it “targets gays and lesbians.”
[Read Related Article: CNN On Religious Liberty: “Just a Code for Discrimination”]
A cursory look at House Bill 1523 shows that in reality, the law doesn’t “target gays and lesbians” but protects people from the government taking “discriminatory actions” based on religious beliefs:
“The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:
(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;
(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
If “Everyone’s Welcome Here” at Mississippi’s various restaurants and businesses, does that include gun carriers? Or would these business owners also have “gun-free zone” signs to discriminate against those exercising their 2nd Amendment rights? Just wondering.