A petition on change.org is calling for Natchez, Mississippi, to secede from the state after legislators there approved a bill that allows individuals and institutions with religious obligations to deny services to gay people. Natchez resident Casey Hughes started the petition hoping the governor would not sign the bill, but he did yesterday. She says she wants to send a message to people who would visit the historic city.
“Natchez is not like that. We are a very diverse community. We are welcoming to everyone,” Hughes said.
Tourism is a huge industry in Natchez, as the town holds wildly popular events throughout the year that draw hundreds of thousands of people. Hughes says this bill could impact tourism.
“Tourism is our major industry, and that kind of legislation really affects people who are willing to come here,” Hughes said.
Hughes says Natchez welcomes all kinds of people, even if the rest of the state does not. She says the petition was mostly a joke, but she wouldn’t mind if her town moved over to the Bayou State.
“I’m a Louisiana native, so it wouldn’t bother me in the least if Natchez got annexed by Louisiana. I think that’d be great,” Hughes said.
The petition has been signed by about 700 people.