House bill passage will impact state’s residents negatively

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The passage of House Bill 1523 has had a far reaching, negative effect on the image of the state of Mississippi.

I am a professor in the music department at Ole Miss and serve on a national planning committee for The Research Symposium on the History of Music Education, which was to be held May 2017 in Oxford.

When Gov. Bryant signed HB1523, the planning committee decided it was not appropriate to host a national symposium in a state that was unwelcoming to some citizens. There was a strong belief that some members would boycott the event.

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Ole Miss had been considered an attractive site for the conference, which provides an opportunity for researchers to present their projects. Past symposia have attracted around 70 participants, so Oxford will forfeit the income from 70 hotel rooms for three nights plus food and other items for 70 people for three days.

Canceling this small symposium will not have a drastic effect on the local economy, but I’m sure other events will also be canceled or Mississippi will not be considered by some organizations as a site for their meetings. I urge Gov. Bryant and our state leaders to rescind this clearly discriminatory law.

Alan Spurgeon