Mississippi

Mississippi is the 20th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Dec. 10, 1817. Its capital and most populous city is Jackson.

LGBT Rights in Mississippi: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in November 2004. Mississippi law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Mississippi permits adoption by an unmarried adult without regard to sexual orientation, but couples of the same gender may not adopt jointly.

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Equality Mississippi

Coalition of Miss. businesses want LGBT customers to know they’re welcome

Sunday, April 13, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Following the Mississippi legislature's recent passage of a religious freedom bill that opponents say could lead to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays, businesses statewide have responded by displaying a decal informing LGBT customers that their business is welcome. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.)

Miss. governor signs religious freedom bill that could allow anti-gay discrimination

Thursday, April 3, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. approves religious freedom bill that could allow anti-gay discrimination

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi lawmakers on Tuesday passed the final version of a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices, a measure that sparked debate about possible discrimination against gay people and other groups. [ Read more → ]
Dave Elliott

Miss. newscaster apologizes for saying gays are in the news too much

Saturday, March 29, 2014
BILOXI, Miss. -- A longtime Mississippi newscaster came under fire this week for a Facebook post complaining about the amount of news coverage dedicated to the LGBT rights recently, and for suggesting that the LGBT community take a "gaycation." [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. Senate sends religious freedom bill back to House as deadline looms

Friday, March 28, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi lawmakers could try to write a final version of a religious freedoms bill that has sparked concerns about anti-gay discrimination. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. House approves dramatically altered ‘religious freedom’ bill

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi House vote 80 to 37 Wednesday evening to approve a dramatically altered “religious freedom” bill that simply calls for a joint House-Senate Judiciary committee to prepare a report “regarding proposed legislation that protects the religious freedoms of the citizens of the State of Mississippi.” The report is due December 31. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi

Miss. lawmakers feel pressure over proposed religious freedom bill

Friday, March 7, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. — Lawmakers in conservative Mississippi find themselves in a tug-of-war over a religious freedom bill that some say is uncomfortably similar to one recently vetoed by Arizona's Republican governor. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. religious freedom bill renews debate on anti-LGBT discrimination

Thursday, March 6, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- A gay rights group is asking Mississippi legislators to specify that a religious-practices bill won't open the way for discrimination if it becomes law. [ Read more → ]
Oxford-MS

Oxford, Miss., passes resolution recognizing LGBT citizens

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. -- The town of Oxford, Miss., on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the dignity and worth of all city residents - including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi

Miss. House panel advances religious freedom bill

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi House panel on Tuesday changed and passed a bill that says state and local government cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Mississippi House panel faces deadline on religious freedom bill

Monday, March 3, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- A Mississippi House panel will decide Tuesday whether to kill a religious freedom bill or keep it alive with or without changes. [ Read more → ]
Alex Brandon, AP

Religious freedom bills: The latest effort to counter advances in marriage equality

Friday, February 28, 2014
WASHINGTON – Religious freedom bills in more than a dozen state legislatures this year mark the latest effort by opponents of same-sex marriage to counter the growing public acceptance of marriage equality, and the momentum of federal court rulings striking down state gay marriage bans. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi

Ariz. controversy prompts changes to proposed Miss. religious freedom bill

Thursday, February 27, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- A Mississippi House panel is proposing changes that might neutralize concerns about whether a religious freedom bill could lead to discrimination against gay people or other groups. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. lawmakers confused whether their own religious freedom bill is anti-gay

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. — Several Mississippi lawmakers say they're confused about whether a freedom-of-religion bill is similar to a widely criticized Arizona measure that would allow people to assert religious beliefs in refusing business services to same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]
marriage-south-1

Freedom to Marry launches $1 million marriage equality campaign in U.S. South

Monday, February 24, 2014
NEW YORK – Freedom to Marry, the advocacy campaign to win marriage equality nationwide, on Monday launched a $1 million multi-state campaign to build majority support for marriage in the South. [ Read more → ]
John Fitzhugh, APMembers of the South Mississippi LGBT community march to U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo's office in Gulfport, Miss., on Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014 to protest comments he made after the Grammys.

LGBT community protests U.S. congressman’s anti-gay Facebook post

Thursday, February 6, 2014
GULFPORT, Miss. -- Members of the local LGBT community marched through the streets of Gulfport, Miss., on Wednesday, ending with a demonstration outside the office of GOP U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo to protest what they say is are anti-gay remarks. [ Read more → ]
Pat Newton

Federal lawsuit against Miss. town for denying gay bar permit to go to trial

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. -- A woman's federal lawsuit that accuses the leaders of a north Mississippi town of conspiring to prevent her from opening a gay bar by denying her a business license will go to trial Jan. 26, 2015, in Aberdeen. [ Read more → ]
Destin Holmes

Lawsuit: LGBT students routinely bullied in Miss. school district

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. -- A lawsuit filed Tuesday says LGBT students are routinely bullied in a south Mississippi school district, including a lesbian who was forced to sit alone in the middle of a classroom when others were split into groups of boys and girls. [ Read more → ]
Divorce

Judge refuses to grant gay couple’s divorce, says marriage isn’t recognized

Monday, December 2, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. -- A Mississippi judge on Monday refused to grant a divorce to a lesbian couple who got married in California, saying the marriage wasn't recognized under state law, according to the woman who filed and her lawyer. [ Read more → ]
Rogelio V. Solis, APLauren Beth Czekala-Chatham, right, shows off a photograph of herself and new partner, Dawn Jefferies, left, taken during a recent cruise. Czekala-Chatham hopes Mississippi will recognize her same-sex marriage to Dana Ann Melancon performed in California, so she can get divorced.

In some states, gay rights battle extends to the right to divorce

Sunday, December 1, 2013
HERNANDO, Miss. -- Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham wants to force Mississippi, one of the America's most conservative states, to recognize her same-sex marriage. She hopes to do so by getting a divorce. [ Read more → ]
Dan Jones

Ole Miss chancellor: Gay slurs at student play a ‘learning opportunity’

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
GREENWOOD, Miss. — The chancellor of the University of Mississippi says the disruptions at a campus play with gay slurs and inappropriate laughter from the audience is an opportunity to educate students about tolerance. [ Read more → ]
Austin McAfee, AP

Ole Miss students, football team disrupt ‘Laramie Project’ play with gay slurs

Thursday, October 3, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. -- An audience consisting of mostly University of Mississippi students, including an estimated 20 Ole Miss football players, disrupted the University's theater department production of “The Laramie Project” Tuesday night, heckling cast members and shouting anti-gay slurs. [ Read more → ]
Shannon-MS

SPLC files lawsuit against Miss. town for denying business license for LGBT bar

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the town of Shannon, Miss., its mayor and its aldermen for denying a business license to a bar catering to the LGBT community. [ Read more → ]
Divorce

Woman asks Miss. to recognize her same-sex marriage so she can divorce

Saturday, September 28, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. -- A woman is asking the conservative state of Mississippi to recognize her out-of-state gay marriage so that she can get a divorce. [ Read more → ]
Marco McMillian (left) and Lawrence Reed.

Judge hears details of gay Miss. mayoral candidate’s slaying

Sunday, August 4, 2013
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — A Mississippi judge has allowed prosecutors to proceed with their case against a man charged in the death of mayoral candidate Marco McMillian. [ Read more → ]
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