New York Mississippi Society Cancels Annual Central Park Picnic

Event planned for June gets waylaid by House Bill 1523.

The theme of the 37th annual Mississippi Picnic, scheduled for Saturday June 11 at 5th Ave. and 72nd Street, was to be “Nothing But the Blues,” in honor of B.B. King. Today, that theme is appropriate for very different reasons.

Per a report in The Clarion-Ledger, the New York Mississippi Society, fearing the impact of protests planned for that day over recently signed House Bill 1523, has decided to cancel the event. The new law allows Mississippi businesses and circuit clerks to deny services to same-sex couples:

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a regular attendee of the picnic, said he is disappointed by the decision.

“I am disappointed we won’t be celebrating Mississippi’s rich and diverse culture in Central Park this year,” Bryant said in an emailed statement. “I’m confident many New Yorkers feel the same way. I will be happy to participate in the event should organizers revive it in the future.”

Clarion-Ledger reporter Kate Royals includes some interesting comments in her report from Chris Awwad, an openly gay Mississippi native currently completing his medical residency in Brooklyn. Read the rest here.

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