Mississippi Manufacturers Association Issues Statement on House Bill 1523

Jackson, Miss. (April 4, 2016) — The Mississippi Manufacturers Association has grave concerns regarding House Bill 1523, and its potential impact on business and industry in our state. Many of our member companies, including some of Mississippi's largest employers such as Nissan, Toyota, and Ingalls Shipbuilding, have issued statements in opposition to this legislation. HB 1523 is in direct opposition to many of our member industry's policies and beliefs regarding diversity and inclusivity.

It is also troubling that HB 1523 goes further than similar legislation recently vetoed by the Governor of Georgia, as it allows not only IRS-deemed religious organizations but also the private sector and government, to decline goods and services to persons whose lifestyle they find objectionable. We have seen the negative attention that Georgia and North Carolina have received on this issue and have now seen the attention shift towards Mississippi. MMA fears that future economic development opportunities will be jeopardized if HB 1523 is signed into law.

“It is clear that many of our members find that HB 1523 would violate their corporate policies expressly providing for an inclusive workplace environment that supports diversity. This is not a bill that the MMA supports and we hope that it will not find its way into law,” said Jay C. Moon, President and CEO of the MMA.

MMA respectfully calls on the legislature to reconsider their stance on HB 1523 and for Governor Phil Bryant to veto this bill before it causes any more harm to Mississippi's image.