Update – 5:30 – The bill as amended includes only adding “In God We Trust” to the state seal and a provision to create a committee to look at writing a religious protection law that wouldn’t be discriminatory. So, no discrimination for now. This is via Deep South Progressive. You can read their status update and thank you to folks who helped with this here. Last update on this post; I’ll write something about it later this week.
Update – 5:20 – The amended version of the bill passed, so now it has to go to conference. I’ll have more to say about it after I have time to read and think about this last round of amendments.
Update – 4:50 p.m. – The House took up the bill about 30 minutes ago. It looks like they’re going to create a study committee to keep this bill alive. You can find the House webcast here. (via @ACLU_MS).
Update – 1 p.m. 03/12 – The latest news I’ve been able to find on this is that the House skipped over this bill this morning, and the deadline for them to vote on it is midnight tonight, so it could still come up later in the day. That’s from the ACLU on Facebook. If I hear anything more about it, or think of anything more that might help, I’ll post an update.
I promised to run amok this week, so let me just do that. This is both a surprise post and one that pushes the Monster’s boundaries. Enjoy!
ACLU Nationwide posted a Facebook update a couple of hours ago, and the Mississippi ACLU promptly shared it. Here’s what it said:
The next 24 hours are key – tell politicians in Mississippi to vote NO on SB2681, the bill that could write segregation and discrimination into law: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-mississippi-legislators?source=c.em.cp&r_by=7111305
I spent 15 minutes trying to figure out if there is some legislative maneuver planned for tomorrow, and then decided it doesn’t matter and the thing to do is share this on the biggest blog I have access to. So here I am. I signed that petition they’re linking to.
No idea whether things will come to a head tomorrow or not, but if you want this bill defeated, I think Wednesday is as good a day as any to speak the fuck up. And here’s something that just happened a few hours ago. It’s what got me looking for updates in the first place.
Milsaps College, a private, United Methodist university, has condemned this bill. They’ve issued a statement that I must say, is a work of art, and is just about as strong a statement as they are capable of. Both students and employees are signing it. Those of you who who live and work in higher education need to think about that for a moment. This is a big break, and it is important. How many times in your life have you seen students, faculty, and staff get together and sign a document that has something to say about current legislation?
They’re not concerned about their religious freedom, and they see this bill for what it is. They quote John Wesley, for goodness’ sake. Read it. And then do this.
Make a phone call. Send an email. Send a fax, if you have access to one of those. Here’s the House roster, and most of the Representatives list personal contact information. Shut down the capitol switchboard in Jackson with your calls. Call their cellphones. If you don’t get through, leave voice mails. Text them. Find them on Facebook and write on their walls. If you can find their Twitter accounts, send them tweets. Email them.
Be polite, and friendly, but let them know just how stupid this whole thing is. How it embarrasses us all and has the potential to kill our our economy. How it targets our brothers and sisters and cousins for no good reason.
It would be best for all of us if this bill were just killed quietly without debate, but we cannot trust them to do that. Most of these people have no idea how the rest of us live. Their decisions are either based on the last conversation they had, or what they think will help them in the next election.
Don’t count on your neighbor, or you sibling, or your coworkers to do this. Do it yourself. The numbers are there, but only if you communicate. You don’t need a majority. You just need a wave of communication that’s timed correctly, and Wednesday is the day.
That’s all I have to say. I have no idea how this will come out, but I’ll be sure and do my part.
Mississippi, please. Impress me.