Post submitted by Harry Hawkins, HRC Mississippi Field Organizer HRC Mississippi joined our Gulf Coast volunteers and supporters for an HRC Connect event in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. These events are community happy hours that allow HRC volunteers and supporters from local LGBTQ and ally organizations the chance to socialize and learn more about HRC’s work. This event also provided the opportunity to once again thank all of our volunteers and supporters on the Gulf Coast for their continued fight against H.B. 1523, deceptively titled “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” enables almost any individual or organization to discriminate against LGBTQ Mississippians at work, at school and in their communities. On July 1, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ blocked the implementation of H.B. 1523, right before it was set to go into effect. The Gulf Coast of Mississippi relies heavily on tourism, and H.B. 1523 would have a devastating effect on the region’s economy. Therefore, it was no surprise to see such a strong response from our Gulf Coast supporters. Connect events are evenings to build upon our momentum after the legislative session and to continue to keep the community active in discussing how they can further work to make the Gulf Coast and our state a welcoming place for LGBTQ people. To learn more about HRC’s work in Mississippi, click here.