The Southern Miss baseball program is losing three home games after being forced to cancel a planned series in February against Stony Brook.
The cancellation comes due to the state of Mississippi’s anti-gay “religious liberty” law.
HB 1523, The Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act, went into effect in October and says that marriage is defined by a man and a woman, gender is biological and sex should only happen in marriage.
Stony Brook, which is based in Long Island, New York, will not be able to make the trip to Hattiesburg from Feb. 23-25 due to a ban from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo which was a result of the religious freedom law. Cuomo banned “non-essential” travel to Mississippi in a direct response to the bill.
“I just hate losing the three home games,” Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry said, via the Sun Herald. “I’m sure it’s going to cost us for sure. That’s three gates and everything that goes into a game day in terms of revenue.”
Stony Brook claims they did not initially realize Mississippi was on the travel ban when initial discussions to schedule the series were had.
“Our athletic director (Shawn Heilbron) and coach (Matt) Senk did not realize that the travel ban included Mississippi,” Miller said. “We knew it was North Carolina, but we did not realize that it included Mississippi.
“Southern Miss obviously wasn’t pleased that we were trying to get out of it.”
With the void in their schedule, Mississippi State will now participate in a tournament at Stephen F. Austin during the dates the Stony Brook series was set to take place.