- July 17, 2014
Post submitted by Karin Quimby, former HRC Deputy Director, Project One America
On Sunday, several prominent Southern leaders and advocates addressed the HRC Board of Directors. The first and only open lesbian in the Alabama state legislature, Representative Patricia Todd, together with Mississippi NAACP State President, Derrick Johnson, and Mississippi advocates, Joce Prittchet and Carla Webb talked about what life is like for LGBT people in the South and how we can work together to move equality forward.
Joce and Carla are raising two children together in Mississippi, but only one parent has legal rights to the children. They talked about how life in the closet has distorted not only their own lives, but the lives of their LGBT friends as well. They have courageously begun to come out and speak out and are changing hearts and minds each and every day. Rep. Todd discussed how her strong relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle have prevented any bad LGBT legislation from even being introduced in the last seven years while she has been in office — showing the power of having an open LGBT elected official at the table.
President Johnson talked about the work HRC and the NAACP can do together in Mississippi to help advance equality and justice for all. The success of HRC’s Project One America depends upon the advice, guidance and relationships with leaders like these, and we look forward to working with them to advance equality in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.