A new Mississippi law that allows businesses to deny gay couples services maybe trumped by economics. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
"Everybody's money is green. As long as its legal tender, that's all that matters", said Beck.
Tom Beck is a Jackson photographer and is in business to make money. He says he wouldn't refuse to provide his service to same sex couples. He's concerned the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, signed into law this week by Governor Phil Bryant, is going to cost Mississippi businesses money. Vermont, New York, Wisconsin and Seattle have banned non-essential travel to Mississippi.
"Businesses are now condemning this, international and national businesses. Money that would have gone into this state and the economy is not starting to, 'no, we're not going to do that.'" said Beck.
From wedding-related businesses to employment and housing-the law allows owners to deny services to same sex couples based upon their religious convictions. Circuit clerks can recuse themselves from providing marriage licenses, but there must be someone on staff to issue the document. Tom McIntyre and his wife own A Daisy a Day Flowers in Jackson. He works with gay couples regularly and doesn't think it makes sense to turn down business.
"You know what goes on behind closed doors is none of my business. They've always been so nice to work with and everything and like I say we've got a lot of friends. In our business there is a lot of gays and lesbians in the floral trade," said McIntyre.
Jeromie Jones operates Cakes by Kake King in Pearl, a custom bakery. He says his business is thriving, but he's looking at relocating because he's in a same sex marriage.
"There's no point in us continuing to run a business here that has been very successful for the past three years in Rankin County. It's almost like we're not wanted here," said Jones.
Those who support the law say it protects them from compromising their moral convictions regarding same-sex marriage.