Comedian Tracy Morgan canceled a stand-up performance in Tunica, Mississippi on Tuesday to protest the state’s “Religious Accommodations Act” — which allows private businesses to refuse service to gay people.
“Tracy did not make this decision lightly,” an official statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter read. “He very much looks forward to rescheduling his tour dates in the area after the ‘Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act’ is either repealed or heavily amended.”
House Bill 1523 — also known as the “Religious Accommodations Act” — was signed into law by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant earlier this month, and is designed to reinforce existing constitutional rights to exercise freedom of religion. The legislation controversially allows religious groups and private businesses to refuse service to members of homosexual individuals based on “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
Governor Bryant said in a statement on April 5: “I am signing HB 1523 into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations and private associations from discriminatory action by state government or its political subdivisions, which would include countries, cities, and institutions of higher learning.”
Morgan, who notoriously stated in 2011 that he would “stab” his own son if he turned out to be gay during a show in Nashville, TN, is not the first celebrity to criticize Mississippi over the new law.
Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres attacked the religious freedom law as “the definition of discrimination” on her show this month.
Days later, Canadian musician Bryan Adams canceled a concert in Biloxi over the law.
In a statement posted to his website, Adams said he could not perform a show in a state “where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation.”
Adams made the comments weeks after performing in Egypt, where homosexuality is not technically illegal, but homosexuals are often arrested and charged with distributing pornography, prostitution or other charges.
In 2014, at least 20 homosexual and transgender individuals were convicted of debauchery and other charges in Egypt, according to CNN.
At his show in Nashville in 2011, Tracy Morgan reportedly made a number of allegedly anti-gay jokes, and stated he “didn’t f—king care” if some homosexuals took issue with his remarks, because if they “can take a f—king d-ck up their ass then they “can take a f—king joke.”
Bruce Springsteen, Boston, Pearl jam, Jimmy Buffett, Ringo Starr, Cyndi Lauper, and others have canceled appearances in North Carolina in recent weeks over the state’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which requires individuals to use the public restroom that corresponds with their biological gender.