Seeds: As more members of the LGBTQ+ community are protected legally, religious groups argue that their rights to religious freedom are being infringed upon. You may have heard about this tension last year when Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples because it was against her own religious beliefs. This case sparked a national conversation over gay rights and religious freedoms. Also, a few months ago Mississippi passed a law that makes it legal for businesses to deny service to LGBTQ+ people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Core: The new Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, in North Carolina is struggling to repeal a law passed tht prohibits transgender people from using the bathrooms that correspond to the gender they weren’t born with. Besides having his repeal plan revoked, his powers are also being limited by his state legislature.
Skin: The media is focusing on the celebrities and companies that have turned their backs on Mississippi and North Carolina in protest of these anti-gay laws. These celebrities include Bruce Springsteen, who has since canceled a concert in North Carolina, and PayPal, which has canceled a $3.6 million investment in North Carolina.
Leaves: There have been protests and this kind of dissent has proven to affect change before. For example, in Georgia earlier this year, Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a bill similar to the one recently passed in North Carolina. Many believe that the veto was based on the NFL’s threat to withdraw Atlanta from consideration for future Super Bowls, and filmmakers expressed their intention of ceasing movie productions in the state.
Food For Thought: Do you think Mississippi should be able to pass these kinds of laws? Do you think this form of protest will be effective?