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Mississippi Hub



04/19/2007


Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from MI, MO, MS, and CO — VIDEO

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There is good news and bad news for marriage in Michigan - its ban on same-sex marriage had been struck down, but is being appealed. Michigan won't recognize the marriages, but the federal government will. A Missouri rep. has introduced a bill for marriage equality in Missouri. Activism in Mississippi led to the denial of several marriage licenses there where a lawsuit may soon appear. An equality campaign in Colorado is taking off.

Plus, new national polling, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from MI, MO, MS, and CO — VIDEO" »


Five Gay Couples Apply For, And Are Denied, Marriage Licenses In Mississippi: VIDEO

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We Do, a series of demonstrations grown out of the grassroots Campaign for Southern Equality protested at the Hinds County Courthouse on Tuesday. Part of the protest involved five couples applying for, and eventually being denied, marriage licenses. Towleroad reported two days ago about a couple who registered their legal marriage in New York at a MS county clerk's office, but the Magnolia State still refuses recognition and, of course, has a ban on same-sex marriage.

WAPT News reports:

"We gather together to resist laws that we believe to be immoral and also unconstitutional," said Jasmine Beach Ferrara, of the "We Do" campaign.

Last July, people involved in the campaign walked to the courthouse and attempted to obtain marriage licenses.

More than 100 LGBT couples across seven Southern states have taken part in the movement. 

"It's clear Mississippians believe marriage is between one man and one woman," said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican.

In 2004, by an 80 percent margin, Mississippi voters defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. 

The odds are stacked against LGBT Mississippians, but the more notoriety these demonstrations receive, the better. We Do tweeted a picture of one of the couples as well:

Wedomi

And check out a news report of the protest at WAPT, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Five Gay Couples Apply For, And Are Denied, Marriage Licenses In Mississippi: VIDEO" »


Mississippi Creates Public Record of Gay Couple's Marriage for First Time

The Campaign for Southern Equality reports that for the first time, Mississippi has created the first known public record of a same-sex marriage in the state, via press release:

Guillot_kellyOn March 24, Anna Guillot and Chrissy Kelly, a same-sex couple, paid $12 to record their legal marriage license at the Rankin County Chancery Clerk’s Office - the first known time that a gay couple has created a public record of their marriage in Mississippi. The couple, who live in Rankin County, were married in New York on July 13, 2012. Their marriage is recognized by the federal government and a growing number of states. However, Mississippi law refuses to recognize same-sex marriage; as a result married couples like Ms. Guillot and Ms. Kelly are regarded as legal strangers in their home state.

“We’re just like anybody else. We love each other and we want to be treated the same as everyone else,” said Ms. Guillot. “We want people to know they are not alone. There are gay couples here in Rankin County,” added Ms. Kelly.

Beginning in 2011, same-sex couples have recorded their legal marriage licenses in North Carolina and Alabama, as part of the Campaign for Southern Equality’s WE DO Campaign, a growing campaign that calls for full equality for LGBT people. “Couples like Anna and Chrissy are doing everything in their power to have their marriage recognized - including creating a public record of their marriage. Now no one can deny the reality of their marriage, their love or their commitment. We are calling for Mississippi to treat LGBT people equally under the law,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.

The WE DO Campaign plans to request marriage licenses this morning at the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi as they did last summer in Poplarville, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson and Tupelo.


Mississippi House Strikes 'Religious Liberty' Text From Anti-Gay Bill, Sends It To Study Committee

MSflagThe "religious liberty" bill proposed in Mississippi, whose language follows in the footsteps of the Arizona bill vetoed last month by Gov. Jan Brewer by allowing for anti-gay discrimination by businesses based on religious beliefs, has been passed on to a study committee to be reviewed further. The committee will research how best to pass the bill later on, and for now the text citing "religious liberty" has been struck from it.

Think Progress reports:

This leaves the fate of the bill in question. If it goes to conference between the House and Senate, the problematic language could be added back to it. In addition, the new study committee could meet in the near future and offer some version of the bill quite soon. Lawmakers with concerns about the original language pointed out that the study committee might very well investigate new ways to create the same “license to discriminate” that led to their objections in the first place.

Mississippi law's definition of "person" encompasses businesses, so passage of a "religious liberty" bill of any kind would, like Arizona, provide for businesses to discriminate openly against the LGBT community. There has been backlash in Mississippi, though, which again echoes the events leading up to the Arizona decision.

Many Mississippi religious leaders opposed the bill, suggesting lawmakers’ efforts “eerily echo Jim Crow laws that robbed African Americans of their basic human dignity.”

Hopefully the bill will lose steam in the committee as activism and opposition mounts. 


Lance Bass and Fiancé Michael Turchin Talk About Changing Mississippi Hearts and Minds on Marriage: VIDEO

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Lance Bass and his fiancé Michael Turchin talk about their love for the state of Mississippi and changing hearts and minds in a new video for Southerns for the Freedom to Marry.

Says Bass:

"When we go out as a gay couple here in Mississippi. You don't feel what everyone says is going on down here in the South. People accept it so much better and they just see 'oh, that's cool. we like them together. They're really sweet.' We feel the love coming from them anyway, and the support. We just have to show them what being gay is. And that's being completely normal, and nothing different from that straight marriage over there."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lance Bass and Fiancé Michael Turchin Talk About Changing Mississippi Hearts and Minds on Marriage: VIDEO" »


Pro-LGBT Resolution Passed By Oxford, Mississippi City Council

Photo: The Lyceum, oldest building on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

Though the Mississippi house's Judiciary B Civil Subcommittee advanced their "religious freedom" bill yesterday, an exciting bit of news out of the Magnolia State this week indicates that on a town-by-town basis, LGBT citizens are beginning to be heard and respected.

MississippiWDAM reports:

Tonight Oxford, Mississippi unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the dignity and worth of all city residents - including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).  Oxford joins two other Mississippi cities - Starkville and Hattiesburg - which both passed similar resolutions earlier this year...

 "Diversity is what made and continues to make this country amazing.  It strengthens and enhances the experiences of everyone, to understand that it is our differences from which we learn and make us stronger," said Alderman Jay Hughes.  "At a time when signals from some parts of the State seem to be focused on exclusion, I am absolutely honored and proud to be in a community that embraces inclusion of everyone, to make Oxford the great place that it is.  Tolerance and acceptance creates the strongest bonds between neighbors, and I am proud to be on the right side of history in reaffirming Oxford's long-standing commitment to that most fundamental principle."

HRC President Chad Griffin applauded the city council, arguing that the decision "moved Mississippi forward on the road to equality." The general public may be more forward-thinking than state legislation would suggest, too, with 2013 poll finding "that nearly 60 percent of Mississippians under the age of 30 support marriage equality, while  64 percent of residents back workplace non-discrimination protections for LGBT employees." 


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