“JACKSON, Miss. — It was a big night for gay Mississippi. House Bill 1523, the legislature’s attempt to establish a sort of Southern-fried sharia over the state’s LGBT population, had been demolished by a federal judge just hours earlier. It was the first state legislation to mimic an Indiana bill signed into law last year by Gov. Mike Pence (R), now Donald Trump’s running mate, that let businesses refuse service to any group they considered heretical to their religion.
Now the clock was ticking toward midnight inside WonderLust, locally designated as the hottest and most “Vegas” gay bar in perhaps the most homophobic state in America.
Inside the spacious, purple-lit club are maybe 30 patrons. A few young women shoot pool. A couple of guys chat at the bar, so modest that it stocks only six brands of booze. The dance floor is deserted. There is no ironic disco ball of happiness on this auspicious evening, no party, no rocking celebration.”