QUEER VOICES

Belinda Carlisle Says Governor Is Making It 'Hell On Earth' For Mississippians

The singer offered a cheeky nod to her '80s smash in condemning House Bill 1523.
The singer vowed to move forward with her April 23 concert in the state. 
The singer vowed to move forward with her April 23 concert in the state. 

Belinda Carlisle is using her upcoming performance in Mississippi to speak out against the state's anti-LGBT law

Teaming up with local LGBT rights advocates Brandiilyne Magnum-Dear and Kaylee Bradshaw, the lead singer of the '80s pop band, The Go-Go's, wrote a letter to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant condemning the state's "Religious Liberty Accommodations Act," or House Bill 1523. 

The bill, which Bryant signed into law April 5, promises that the state government will protect citizens who cite their religious beliefs in denying services to LGBT people. This includes those who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Carlisle, 57, posted the full text of the letter she wrote to Bryant on her official Facebook page. In a cheeky nod to her hit 1987 song, "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," the singer said that the governor and his supporters were making Mississippi "hell on earth" for many of the state's residents.  

The singer said she'd considered canceling her April 23 concert at Biloxi's IP Casino Resort and Spa because of the law. Instead, she vowed to move forward with the show in an effort to "speak the truth" of Magnum-Dear and Bradshaw, as well as other activists in Mississippi "who are resilient and loving and brave." 

She also pointed to her openly gay son, James Duke Mason, and said she couldn't "imagine anything less Christian" than using the new 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," she wrote. "Especially the transgender folks and LGBTQ people of color who will be most directly impacted by these attacks."

Carlisle joins a growing list of celebrities in speaking out against the law. Earlier this month, rocker Bryan Adams announced that he was calling off his April 14 performance at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum "in solidarity with all my LGBT friends."

Meanwhile, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam have scrapped shows in North Carolina over the state's House Bill 2, which similarly harbors discriminatory practices toward the LGBT community.  

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