Business Owners: Religious Freedom Law hurts bottom line - - Jackson, MS

Business Owners: Religious Freedom Law hurts bottom line

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On a Friday afternoon at Campbell's Bakery in Fondren, owner Mitchell Moore stays busy.   Not just with the cakes and cookies that made this bakery a Jackson staple, but also a sticker featured prominently on his front door which reads: "We don't discriminate. If you're buying, we're selling."  

"We hoped really that we as business owners could finally speak for ourselves and not have politicians speaking for us," Moore said.  

When he saw the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act gaining momentum, he says he saw it as a threat to not only his business, but others across the state.  

"They kept using business as an excuse, saying, you know, ‘We need this for businesses so that we can prevent discrimination against Christians,'" Moore said.

"We're in Mississippi. I've never been discriminated against as a Christian."  

So Moore came up with the idea for the sticker, one that's already found its way to around 400 businesses in Mississippi alone.   In fact, that's why at least one person came by the bakery on Friday.  

"I think this law that just passed doesn't really represent what the majority of Mississippi wants, and it certainly doesn't represent what I want," resident Emily Hobart said. "I just really want to offer some support."  

Hobart wants the sticker for her booth at the Flowood Arts and Crafts Fair, which takes place on Saturday.  

She's not the only one who believes in the new initiative, though. La Finestra owner Tom Ramsey says someone's sexual or religious preference shouldn't determine whether or not they eat at his restaurant.  

"The mere implication that I might want to turn somebody away because of religious preferences is, it's not what I believe in. That's why we're proud to have this [sticker] on the door," Ramsey said. "This is who we are. We're a business that wants to welcome everybody in the doors."  

Some might say Moore's pushing the stickers for profit or speaking out for political gain. He says that's not the case.  

"It may be political, but I'm not making that stance," said Moore. "This is about business. This is about a business owner and local business saying, 'Hey, don't listen to the politicians. We will sell our product to everybody." 

Those stickers are free for anyone interested in getting one. Moore said they've received interest from LGBT organizations as far away as Chicago and Atlanta.

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