Belinda Carlisle holds HB 1523 press conference at casino

Belinda Carlisle holds HB 1523 press conference at casino

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Pop star Belinda Carlisle is speaking out in a public way against the Religious Liberty Accommodations Act.

While other entertainers cancel Mississippi concerts in protest, Carlisle performed with muscle behind her music. On Saturday, Carlisle made her protest about HB 1523 in person, not from afar.

While she's supported LGBT issues for nearly 40 years, the entertainer has never used her music as a platform until now. Before the concert, Carlisle met with media.

"There has been criticism from some saying keep to the entertainment, you don't belong in politics," Carlisle said. "I've never had to come up against that kind of thing. They usually criticize me because of the music, not because of my point of view."

Carlisle encourages other entertainers to do the same, but supports any way to protest.

"I do respect those people who did cancel. I mean, everybody has different points of view. There's no wrong or no right when you have the same sort of goal I think," Carlisle added.

The press conference was organized by Joshua Generation Church in Hattiesburg, who recently announced its intention to form a coalition to fight the law. Now the church has a big voice behind its cause.

Other voices were loud and strong as well, including Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran.

"This certainly for us is embarrassing. It's humiliating," Moran said. "It is a throwback to the Jim Crow days and just keeps Mississippi spiraling downward."

Rev. Dr. Ashley Beaty-Perry of the Presbyterian Church USA says the law is no reflection of her belief system.

"There is not one thing, not one single thing in my faith tradition that allows for hatefulness toward others," said Beaty-Perry.

For Carlisle, the fight isn't over.

"I'd like to come back, because I'm starting to get pissed off," Carlisle added.

After the concert, Carlisle led an hour-long vigil in support of the LGBT community that was open to the public. About 50 people showed up, toting signs and glow sticks, while Carlisle and several other community leaders spoke out against the law.

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