Friday, April 08, 2016

In response to Mississippi religious-objections law, tourism group launches 'Everyone's Welcome Here'

In response to a new Mississippi law that many say will discriminate against gay people and others, the Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association announced that later this month it will launch a campaign called "Everyone's Welcome Here," a voluntary, no cost program for members of the hospitality and tourism industries, states a MHRA press release. The organization will design, print and distribute decals to restaurants and hospitality related business with the new slogan. They also plan to create a web presence with a master list of participating businesses. (Facebook photo: More than a year ago, a similar campaign of inclusion started across the state)

Mike Cashion, executive director of MHRA, said in a statement: "Regardless of its intent, this legislation has created a level of controversy and public perception that affects the image of our state and the hospitality community. And while we may not be able to manage the image and brand of the entire state, we can affect the image of our restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses. When our industry is challenged, we as an organization will take prudent steps to protect and promote the restaurant and hospitality industry. Our industry serves a diverse customer baseand we want to make sure all customers are appreciated and welcomed. We have a very clear and strong message to convey. Mississippi's restaurant industry is open for everyone's business.”

A similar campaign was launched more than a year ago, reports WLOX-TV. "Blue stickers announcing, 'We don't discriminate. If you're buying, we're selling' can still be seen on the doors of businesses across Mississippi."

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