After Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 1523 into law, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned all non-essential travel to the state
Before Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law that allows businesses to refuse service to LGBT people, the business community warned him it would cause the state to lose business. Now, the University of Southern Mississippi is feeling the effects.
The Southern Miss baseball team was scheduled to host a weekend series at home in Hattiesburg from February 23-25. But Stony Brook, a Long Island, New York-based public university, will not be able to attend due to a 2016 executive order by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
After Bryant signed HB 1523, the so-called “religious freedom” law, Cuomo banned all non-essential travel to Mississippi in response. Cuomo also banned non-essential travel to North Carolina, which had just passed a law barring transgender people from using bathrooms that correlate with their sexuality identity.
“I just hate losing the three home games,” USM head coach Scott Berry, according to the Sun Herald. “I’m sure it’s going to cost us for sure. That’s three gates and everything that goes into a game day in terms of revenue.”
Instead of a home series, USM will participate in a tournament at Stephen F. Austin in Texas during the dates that had been planned with Stony Brook.
Southern Miss and Stony Brook, which also had a planned series cancelled in 2014 due to weather, will try again in 2018.
HB 1523 was allowed to go into effect after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear a challenge against it last year, but an appeal is now headed to the United States Supreme Court.