Protests Aim at Mississippi's New York Picnic | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Protests Aim at Mississippi's New York Picnic

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Opponents of a Mississippi law could be like ants at the state's annual New York picnic.

Those protesting the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which takes effect July 1, say it could sanction discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Oxford chef John Currence and others will host a Big Gay Mississippi Welcome Table dinner Friday in New York. Another group plans a moment of silence before the Saturday picnic in Central Park.

State leaders use the week before the picnic to promote Mississippi in New York. Currence, despite opposition to the law, cooked Thursday for a luncheon hosted by Gov. Phil Bryant.

The measure says government can't substantially burden religious practices without compelling reasons. Critics fear it could allow business owners who oppose homosexuality to refuse services to gays and lesbians.

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