A protest is expected Saturday when the governor speaks at the University of Mississippi’s graduation in Oxford. Organizer Kevin Cozart said he has distributed more than 350 lapel stickers with a rainbow-striped map of Mississippi and a quote from the university creed: “I believe in respect for the dignity of each person.”
Cozart is a graduate student and former adviser to UM Pride Network, a group that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. He said students, faculty members and some administrators have requested stickers to express low-key opposition to the law.
“People that I didn’t expect to get involved are asking for stickers,” Cozart said.
Bryant spokeswoman Nicole Webb said she does not expect the protest to be disruptive.
“The students and the families at the university have always been hospitable, and we expect they would continue to be,” she said.
Bryant won praise from national conservative groups, including the Family Research Council, by signing the legislation supported by Pentecostals and Southern Baptists. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins traveled from Washington to Jackson for a private bill signing ceremony in the governor’s office.
Bryant said the Mississippi act mirrors a federal law President Bill Clinton signed in 1993 and that 18 other states have enacted since the mid-1990s. The governor also said he does not believe Mississippi’s law will lead to anti-gay discrimination.