Several annoyed Mississippi business owners would very much like America to know that they are more than happy to serve gay and lesbian customers, as long as their money is green.
The AP reports on the response to the state's recently passed "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which takes effect July 1. The law, as the L.A. Times explained, demands a "compelling interest" for the state to place a "substantial burden" on someone's "exercise of religion," and makes way for individuals to sue on those grounds. It doesn't explicitly mention gays, but opponents see it as catering to the apparently rampant fear that a holy-roller wedding photographer might be forced into close proximity with a gay wedding.
And many are concerned that it'll be taken as carte blanche to discriminate. "People are going to take it as permission, if you will, to discriminate against people they don't necessarily agree with or like," said 42-year-old hair salon owner Eddie Outlaw (great name, or best name ever?), who had to travel out of state to marry his own partner.
So, as a protest, Outlaw and several other business owners have created and distributed hundreds of bright-blue stickers that proclaim, "We don't discriminate. If you're buying, we're selling." They've handed out 500 and have another 1,000 coming.
It's not just traditional allies, either. Another co-creator, Republican bakery owner Mitchell Moore, called himself a "straight, white, Southern, Christian conservative male," but doesn't like that the state government was presuming to speak for the business community. And not only that, but sending a none-too-friendly message to tourists who might consider a trip to Mississippi. Good old American capitalism, baby!
Photo via AP Images.