Speakers at Sunday’s rally included the leader of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, an executive with the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and an Episcopal priest who was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit to abolish Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples adopting children.
Many of the speakers likened the struggle against the law to the fight against 1960s era segregation of African-Americans.
“I don’t like the repeat of this movie, when a Mississippi governor decides they want to make a name for themselves by attacking the dignity of an entire group of people,” said Ben Jealous, former national president of the NAACP.
Jody Owens, managing attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Mississippi, encouraged people who experience discrimination to call his organization, laying possible groundwork for a lawsuit or lawsuits.
“We need to know who’s been targeted and why,” Owens told the crowd.
After the rally, Owens said opponents might challenge the law by arguing about the general stigma it casts on particular groups. Yet he also said more concrete examples would make for stronger legal cases.
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