95 Mississippi writers speak out against religious accommodations law

95 Mississippi writers speak out against religious accommodations law

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Some of Mississippi's most eloquent writers are adding their names to the growing list of people and businesses opposed to the state's new Religious Accommodations law.

Ninety-five writers signed a statement calling for lawmakers to repeal the recently enacted House Bill 1523, calling it a violation of civil rights.

Mississippi has a thousand histories, but these can be boiled down to two strains: our reactionary side, which has nourished intolerance and degradation and brutality, which has looked at difference as a threat, which has circled tightly around the familiar and the monolithic; and our humane side, which treasures compassion and charity and a wide net of kinship, which is fascinated by character and story, which is deeply involved in the daily business of our neighbors. This core kindness, the embracing of wildness and weirdness, is what has nurtured the great literature that has come from our state. 

What literature teaches us is empathy. It reminds us to reach out a hand to our neighbors—even if they look different from us, love different from us—and say, 'Why, I recognize you; you're a human, just like me, sprung from the same messy place, bound on the same hard road.' Mississippi authors have written through pain, and they have written out of disappointment, but they have also written from wonder, and pride, and a fierce desire to see the politics of this state live up to its citizens. 

It is deeply disturbing to so many of us to see the rhetoric of hate, thinly veiled, once more poison our political discourse. But Governor Phil Bryant and the Mississippi legislators who voted for this bill are not the sole voices of our state. There have always been people here battling injustice. That's the version of Mississippi we believe in, and that's the Mississippi we won't stop fighting for.

The 95 undersigned writers from Mississippi stand opposed to any violation of civil rights, including discrimination against LGBTQ citizens, and call for the repeal of the recently enacted House Bill 1523.

The statement is then signed by the following Mississippi authors:

Ellis Anderson 
Ace Atkins
Howard Bahr
Angela Ball
Marion Barnwell
Steven Barthelme
Matt Bondurant
William Boyle
Carolyn Brown
Kelly Butler
Jimmy Cajoleas
Sarah C. Campbell
Julie Cantrell
Hodding Carter III
Hodding Carter IV
Maari Carter
Jim Dees
James Dickson
Kendall Dunkelberg
William Dunlap
Lee Durkee
Margaret Eby
John T. Edge
Liz Egan
Kelly Ellis
W. Ralph Eubanks
Beth Ann Fennelly
Ellen Ann Fentress
William R. Ferris
Ann Fisher-Wirth
Tom Franklin
Martha Hall Foose
Christopher Garland
Melissa Ginsburg
John Grisham
Matthew Guinn
Minrose Gwin
Becky Hagenston
Derrick Harriell
Brooks Haxton
Gerard Helferich
Ravi Howard
Lisa Howorth
T. R. Hummer
Greg Iles
Deborah Johnson
Rheta Grimsley Johnson
Michael Kardos
James Kimbrell
Taylor Kitchings
Jamie Kornegay
Kos Kostmayer
Catherine Lacey
Kiese Laymon
T. K. Lee
Beverly Lowry
Richard Lyons
Suzanne Marrs
C. Liegh McInnis
Margaret McMullan
Greg Miller
Mary Miller
Andrew Malan
Milward Benjamin Morris
Family of Willie Morris
Scott Naugle
Teresa Nicholas
Michael Pickard
Catherine Pierce
John Pritchard
Douglas Ray
Julia Reed
James Seay
Kevin Sessums
Gary Sheppard
Katy Simpson Smith
Matthew Clark Smith
Michael C. Smith
Michael Farris Smith
Kathryn Stockett
Donna Tartt
Tate Taylor
Wright Thompson  
Natasha Trethewey
Tiffany Quay
Tyson Jesmyn Ward
Brad Watson
Larry Wells  
Neil White
Curtis Wilkie
Ruth Williams
Austin Wilson
Gerry Wilson
Steve Yarbrough
Steve Yates

See a full page copy of the release here: http://bit.ly/1VOnSUD

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