April 22, 2016
Solo artist Belinda Carlisle, the former lead vocalist of the Go-Go's, has decided to go ahead with her Mississippi concert as scheduled, despite having strong objections to http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/apr/13/hb-1523-half-redundant-half-unconstitutional/">House Bill 1523.
On Tuesday, the singer posted https://www.facebook.com/BelindaCarlisleOfficial/?fref=ts">an open letter to Gov. Phil Bryant on her Facebook page and http://www.glaad.org/blog/belinda-carlisle-ms-governor-nothing-less-christian-new-discriminatory-law">GLAAD's website, saying that while she originally planned to cancel her shows in Mississippi, after speaking with local LGBTQ groups, she changed her mind. Carlisle contrasted her pop song "Heaven is a Place on Earth" to the "hell on earth" that House Bill 1523 creates for LGBT Mississippians.
"As the very proud mother of a gay child I can't imagine anything less Christian than using the law as a weapon against others," Carlisle wrote.
Carlisle is scheduled to perform on Saturday night in Biloxi and https://www.facebook.com/events/559044327602982/">is holding a candlelight vigil after her concert.
Carlisle's letter is reproduced verbatim below:
I am scheduled to perform in your great state this Saturday, however given the very recent anti-LGBTQ attacks that your administration has leveled against some of your own citizens I very nearly cancelled my appearance. After discussion with various LGBTQ groups, however, I've decided to go forward with the show in order to say a few things to those who live in the Magnolia State -- and I want to start off by addressing you directly.
As the very proud mother of a gay child I can't imagine anything less Christian than using the law as a weapon against others. Because of my career as a performer and the privilege that has brought to our family, my son will be all right, but the pain you're causing LGBTQ Mississippians is devastating, especially the transgender folks and LGBTQ people of color who will be most directly impacted by these attacks. Brave organizers like Kaylee -- a black transgender Mississippian -- and Brandiilyne -- a lesbian pastor in Mississippi -- are just two of the people who will be directly impacted by hateful bills like these. Their bravery in organizing against these attacks is stunning.
Nearly 30 years ago, I released a song titled "Heaven Is a Place on Earth." I was proud of the message of that song then and I continue to be proud of it today. Unfortunately, Governor Bryant, you and those around you are making life hell on earth for many Mississippians.
So I'll go forward with my show on Saturday and I'll use it as an opportunity to speak the truth about the bravery of people like Kaylee and Brandiilyne and so many others across your state who are resilient and loving and brave. Finally, it is my call, as a mother, that you bring a little bit of heaven to Mississippi by repealing HB1523.