Post submited by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications
Hattiesburg, Mississippi tonight passed a resolution recognizing the dignity and worth of all city residents – including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). Hattiesburg is the second Mississippi municipality to pass such a resolution in the past month, with the city of Starkville taking similar action last month.
HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
“Amid a growing number of victories for equality across the country, city leaders in Hattiesburg tonight chose to send a powerful message to their residents that all people are worthy of dignity and respect. When local leaders like Mayor Johnny DuPree and members of the city council affirm the inherent value of LGBT people, they are affecting profound change that will improve lives. While we still have work ahead of us, there’s no question that equality is marching forward and attitudes are changing in Mississippi faster than we’ve seen ever before.”
“Hattiesburg is a community that is strongest when all of our residents feel they can live openly and safely,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. “We draw our strength from our diversity – our different backgrounds, our different talents, our different passions. I’d like to thank the city council for joining me tonight in making this very important resolution a reality.”
Public opinion on equality in Mississippi is far ahead of law in the state. A poll conducted last summer found 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.
Hattiesburg is a great example of how cities are leading the way in the fight for LGBT equality, and the 2013 Municipal Equality Index explains how. In big cities and small, from coast to coast and in between, in red states and blue states, cities are acting to bring equality to their own backyards. The 2013 MEI rates 291 municipalities drawn from every state in the nation on the basis of how inclusive their laws and policies are of LGBT people. To read the report, please visit www.hrc.org/mei.