VIDEO: The Campaign for Southern Equality tours Mississippi in support of marriage
Jul 02, 2013 at 03:35 pm
In just a few days, the Campaign for Southern Equality - an organization dedicated to winning equal rights for LGBT people in southern states - will set off on Stage 5 of its "We Do" campaign, where same-sex couples request marriage licenses and provoke denials in their hometowns across the south.
Stage 5 will focus on Mississippi, a state with the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children - 26% of same-sex couples have children in the state - but also the projected lowest support for the freedom to marry. Recent polling demonstrates improvement over the years, but support in the state is still low, in a time when 13 states have approved marriage for same-sex couples and the federal government has taken the first step toward ending federal marriage discrimination.
Last week - when the Supreme Court struck down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the movement to win marriage nationwide took a huge step forward. But for same-sex couples living in states without the freedom to marry, the end of DOMA is not enough. These couples in the other 37 states need the freedom to marry. Peaceful actions like the We Do campaign mark the first step in this conversation.
CSE has previewed the next phase of their campaign with a new video. Watch it here:
The organization's Executive Director, Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, says in the video, "Sometimes, when you're looking at bigotry and discrimination, you have to scratch at the surface a little bit and shine some light on it - the way you do an infection. let it breathe to cure it. LGBT folks live literally in every town across the South. And the solution to the discrimination we face is not for us to move. ... What happens when real people say, 'Enough'? 'I'm not leaving. But I will stand up.'"
On July 10, CSE will take action in Poplarville and Gulfport, with couples applying for marriage licenses and provoking denials. On July 12, the group will go to Hattiesburg - a stop along the 7-state tour of the We Do campaign's Stage 4 - and Stage 5 will wrap up in Jackson and Tupelo.