Post submitted by Hubert Tate, former HRC Press Secretary, Project One America

There is strong support for equality in Mississippi despite the state’s "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" taking effect today. Since January, eight cities have passed equality resolutions recognizing the dignity and worth of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Starkville passed the first measure on January 21st and since then eight other cities have joined in treating LGBT people with dignity and respect. The majority of the resolutions passed with unanimous bipartisan support reaching diverse populations—including the capital city of Jackson.

Though the resolutions are non-binding and do not offer non-discrimination protections, passage sends a strong message of inclusion-- unlike the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act" passed by state legislators in April. HRC strongly believes the law is bad for business, bad for the state’s reputation, and most of all--bad for Mississippians.

To help change hearts and minds, advance enduring legal protections and build more inclusive institutions for LGBT people in Mississippi, HRC has launched Project One America. A report by Public Religion Research Institute shows when Americans know someone gay or lesbian, they are more likely to favor LGBT protections. This summer, HRC will open an office in Jackson and employ dedicated staff to expand equality.

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