LGBT Travel Alert Issued For Mississippi
Following in the Arizona Legislature's footsteps has made Mississippi a risky place for members of the LGBT community to visit, according to GetEqual. Senate Bill 2681, titled the "Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (unofficially known as the "Mississippi Returns To Jim Crow Act") has prompted the national LGBT org to issue a travel ban for folks considering a visit to the Southern State.
GetEQUAL Mississippi alerts those traveling to the state of a continued risk of discrimination based upon sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The State of Mississippi does not currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (“LGBT”) people from being legally ejected from their hotel rooms or other places of public accommodation, and is on the cusp of passing legislation that would give business owners even more latitude to legally discriminate against minority groups.
Those who are required to travel to Mississippi are encouraged to take the following precautions:
- Avoid traveling alone in the state.
- Only book travel at hotels which have policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Visit only known LGBT-friendly establishments, including restaurants, bars and venues.
- Be aware of your surroundings and adopt other appropriate safety measures to protect yourself while traveling.
GetEQUAL Mississippi will continue to monitor this situation and update travelers as needed.
“This bill is progressing at a very rapid rate, making my beautiful state a potentially dangerous place for anyone perceived as ‘different’ from the right-wing extremists who have crafted this bill,” said Zach Magee, an organizer with GetEQUAL Mississippi and a Mississippi native. “While the LGBT community—including both residents and visitors—will be negatively impacted by this bill, it is also a license to discriminate against any group seen as ‘different,’ including women, racial or ethnic minorities, or immigrants. Religious freedom, in my eyes, does not mean blatant discrimination of any kind—unfortunately, discrimination is a fundamental part of this bill.”