95 Mississippi authors call for repeal of anti-LGBT law

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2015 file photo, best selling author and former Mississippi lawmaker John Grisham speaks about his writing process at the Mississippi Book Festival, at Galloway Methodist Church Sanctuary, in Jackson, Miss. Ninety-five Mississippi authors, including Grisham and Donna Tartt, are calling on state officials to repeal a law that will let government workers and business people cite religious beliefs to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – John Grisham and Donna Tartt are among 95 Mississippi authors urging state officials to repeal a law that will let workers cite religious beliefs to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

The writers said in a letter released Monday that House Bill 1523 has prompted hateful rhetoric that poisons the political process. The bill is scheduled to become law July 1.

The authors say the legislation is an example of Mississippi’s reactionary side. They say the state also has a humane side that treasures compassion.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill last week amid objections from big businesses.

Mississippi is one of about 10 states considering such measures after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last summer that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

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