LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Rochelle Harper has been looking forward to playing in the Mississippi in New York Parade for quite some time.
"They celebrate it every year in Central Park, and this year they invited us, which we were honored to come and play our mission," said Harper.
However, this year, the long lasting musical picnic was canceled in response to Gov. Phil Bryant's signing of a religious freedom bill last week.
"I don't believe in discriminating against anyone, so I'm just at a loss for words really," said Harper.
"We are a little disappointed, because we were gonna use this as an opportunity to show people how we do feel in Mississippi," said guitarist Gary "Boz" Boswell.
In a statement from the New York Mississippi Society released Tuesday, members said, "Our mission back in 1980 was to showcase a positive image of the State of Mississippi."
"They cant get behind this bill. It just doesn't make sense to them. It's like a step in the past," said Harper.
Harper and her band are hoping to play in the picnic if it continues next year.
"To quote Bob Dylan, how many years can some people exist before they're allowed to be free? Civil liberties for everyone. Bob Marley. One love," said Harper.