April 14, 2004
HRC Condemns Discriminatory Votes in Mississippi and Kentucky Legislatures
"The people of Kentucky and Mississippi deserve equality, not cynical election-year politics," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign condemned the recent passage of discriminatory anti-marriage constitutional amendments in two state legislatures, Kentucky and Mississippi. This action means amendments will appear on the November 2004 ballots in both states.
"The people of Kentucky and Mississippi deserve equality, not cynical election-year politics," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "We are confident that the fair-minded people of Mississippi and Kentucky will reject writing discrimination into their most cherished legal documents."
After passing the Kentucky Senate, an anti-marriage amendment failed to get enough votes in the Kentucky House. However, amendment backers were able to revive the measure and, on its second vote, the amendment passed April 12. Leading the charge against this proposed amendment is the state's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political group, Kentucky Fairness Alliance.
"This amendment will hurt real people who are a part of every community in this state," said Andrea Hildebran, executive director of Kentucky Fairness Alliance. "When voters understand how much harm this will do to their own family members, their neighbors, friends and co-workers they will vote against this in November."
Equality Mississippi, the state gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political group, fought hard against the state's anti-marriage ban, which passed the Mississippi Senate on April 7 after passing the House in March. The group will continue to work on educating voters in Mississippi on why they should vote against the measure in November.
Said Equality Mississippi Executive Director Jody Renaldo: "We hope that the people of Mississippi will send a strong message to the state Legislature and Governor Haley Barbour that Mississippi will not return to a past of scorn and discrimination."
"We are proud to work with these state groups to ensure equality for every American family," added Jacques.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.