First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement address at Jackson State University in Mississippi on Saturday and spoke out against the anti-LGBT “religious freedom” law passed recently which allows individuals, religious organizations and private associations to use religion to discriminate against LGBT people.
If we fail to exercise our fundamental right to vote, then I guarantee that so much of the progress we’ve fought for will be under threat. Congress will still be gridlocked. Statehouses will continue to roll back voting rights and write discrimination into the law. We see it right here in Mississippi — just two weeks ago -– how swiftly progress can hurtle backward, how easy it is to single out a small group and marginalize them because of who they are or who they love.
So we’ve got to stand side by side with all our neighbors –- straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu immigrant, Native American — because the march for civil rights isn’t just about African Americans, it’s about all Americans. It’s about making things more just, more equal, more free for all our kids and grandkids. That’s the story you all have the opportunity to write. That’s what this historic university has prepared you to do.
President Obama said that Mississippi’s law should be overturned on Friday at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Activists have organized a march on the governor’s mansion for May 1.