LGBT Mississippians could have more to lose or gain than most as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on whether or not employers have the right to fire people based on their sexuality and gender identity, because the Hospitality State holds the distinction for the most anti-LGBT law in the nation
Echoes of Mississippi's discriminatory history continue to make themselves heard, sometimes in the form of so-called "religious liberty" laws that give businesses and organization wide berth to invoke their religion to justify discriminating against LGBT people.
About 50 people showed up at a venue that would seat 1,200 on Wednesday night to hear Republican candidates explain why voters should elect them as Mississippi's next attorney general—the state's chief legal officer who holds the power to bring or defend against lawsuits on behalf of the state.
Transgender Americans will no longer be protected from health-care discrimination after the Trump administration rolled back an Obama-era health-care policy on Friday.
A Mississippi Republican is calling on her colleagues to support an update to the state's hate-crime laws in the wake of two recent attacks that she believes anti-gay prejudice may have motivated.
A Hattiesburg woman confronted Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood on Tuesday over yearbook photos from the 1980s that show members of his college fraternity wearing blackface.
If Mississippians make state Rep. Mark Baker their next attorney general, he vows to fight so that religiously affiliated adoption agencies that accept state funds can continue to legally discriminate against LGBT families.
All three Republicans in Mississippi's Congressional delegation voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday.
Jackson and Hattiesburg lead among Mississippi's nine largest cities in LGBT equality, the Human Rights Campaign says in a new report.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant joined 15 other Republican leaders across the country in signing a brief that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not protect transgender people and that employers have the right to fire them for their gender identity.
The Campaign for Southern Equality launched a survey on Wednesday, Aug. 22, that aims to help improve health-care access for LGBT southerners.
LGBT men have limited access to quality sexual health care, a new report finds. In the capital city, it is an especially serious problem: The Jackson metro has the fourth-highest rate of HIV diagnosis per 100,000 residents among the nation's metropolitan areas, with about 40 percent of LGBT men infected with HIV here in 2014.
"There is no inside or outside, but one community in which we are all sisters and brothers."
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, a Republican who represents Mississippi's 4th District, hearkened back to some familiar hyperbole on Friday as he blasted the Democratic-controlled Congress for passing the Equality Act.
The "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" will become state law on Tuesday, Oct. 10, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied attorneys' request to prevent the law from taking effect while they petition the U.S. Supreme Court.
Some top-down changes coming soon to the VA could help alleviate inadvertent or purposeful discrimination against LGBT veterans. Due to a recent change, all VA medical centers now have the ability for the first time to change a part of a veteran's medical record digitally.
It was 1962 in Jackson, and Dee Smathers lived in an apartment on State Street with her first college roommate turned lover. Dee's family was living out of the state, so she did not worry about their judgment. Her partner, on the other hand, was living a secret life.
This summer marks 25 years since I came out of the closet. Today, coming out happens so often in the world of the Hollywood A-listers, athletes, journalists and elected officials that it hardly makes news. Harvey Milk said we must come out and, while not everyone can right now, plenty visible folks are twirling out of the closet, wire hangers and all.
The day before a gunman massacred 49 mostly Latino men and women at the gay club, Pulse, in Orlando, I was wandering through the Brooklyn Pride festival in New York City. It was right around the corner from my rented apartment in Park Slope where I stayed to do more crime-solutions reporting.
A chorus of more than 100 voices rose outside JC's, one of Jackson's longest-standing gay bars, Sunday night in vigil for victims in the Orlando mass shooting that left 49 people dead early Sunday morning, when a man entered a gay club in Orlando with an assault rifle and started shooting.
On Tuesday, May 24, the nine-member Mississippi Board of Education decided unanimously to disregard the federal government's Title IX guidelines to protect transgender students from discrimination just days after the state superintendent had said the state would follow t hem.
Attorney General Jim Hood said he will not add the State of Mississippi to the Texas lawsuit against the federal government over President Barack Obama's directive to public schools, telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identities.
Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement today regarding the lawsuit by Texas and 10 other states.
In a state where lawmakers couldn't make domestic violence grounds for divorce, the same group of legislators claim that the protection of girls and women informs their decision to demand the state superintendent of education to resign from her job for "risking the safety" of girls in classrooms.
Title IX is usually associated with sex-based equity in athletics, but advocates say it actually applies much more broadly.
A group of Mississippi House Republicans emailed a letter today directly to state Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright, asking her to step down unless the Mississippi Department of Education swiftly reverses its decision to follow the president’s guidelines on protecting transgender students’ rights.
Today the Obama administration issued a directive offering "significant guidance" to school districts on curbing sex-based discrimination in schools, specifically against students who do not identify with the gender commonly linked to their biological sex.
Republican lawmakers upset about the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage have advanced measures in about a dozen states this year that could strengthen protections for those who refuse on religious grounds to provide services to same-sex couples.
A federal judge has overturned Mississippi's ban on allowing same-sex couples to adopt.
Some Mississippi county clerks started issuing marriage licenses to all couples on Monday morning, after Attorney General Jim Hood wrote them promising no "adverse action" in response this morning.
"It's over." That was the message from Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who represented lesbian couples in a case to strike down Mississippi's same-sex marriage ban, to an Associated Press reporter on Wednesday evening.
Roberta Kaplan is challenging the provision in Mississippi adoption law that states, "Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited."
Last week, the state—via the Democratic-led Mississippi attorney general's office—again stood on the wrong side of a federal judge in an individual-rights case.
The Human Rights Campaign has started an initiative to advance public education and engagement of LGBT issues through advertisements, door-to-door efforts, and communication through mail and phone calls.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in a 5-4 ruling on Friday. In Mississippi, small celebrations broke out on the steps of Hinds County Courthouse, as other couples went to the basement to try to get their marriage licenses.
The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.
When a Magnolia Junior High School teacher conducted a math exercise by dividing the classroom into two teams based on gender, Destin Holmes was forced to sit in the middle of the room. This, according to the teacher, was because the teenage girl was "an in-between it."
Like many LGBTQ couples, New York attorney Roberta Kaplan and her wife, Rachel Lavine, have enjoyed federal marriage rights since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal restrictions against same-sex marriage in 2013.
In 2007, Kevin Sessums' "Mississippi Sissy" (St. Martin's Press, $24.95) became a best seller. The book opened our eyes to the life of a boy touched by tragedy, feeling like an outsider in an ultra-conservative southern state, and his molestation at the hands of a trusted minister.
Does Senate Bill 2681, which the Mississippi Legislature approved, protect religious freedoms or open the door to legal discrimination?
Predictably, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves—as most federal judges appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama did before him—last night ruled that same-sex couples in Mississippi should be allowed to marry.
A 2015 Williams Institute survey of homeless-youth service providers found that the most widely selected reason for homelessness among LGBT youth (as reported to service providers) was "forced out of their homes or running away from home because of their sexual orientation."
While it may not be the only sign of bigotry, discrimination is a clear, 10-million-watt, Vegas-strip, see-it-from-space sign of bigotry for anyone except for the willfully blind.
After a week of ups and downs for a measure that civil-liberties groups say could lead to legalized discrimination of LGBTQ people, a modified version now goes to the House of Representatives for debate.
At the American Family Association headquarters in Tupelo, Miss., a staff of about 130 produces radio programs and other media to promote its Christian ideology.
Two years after I graduated from high school in 2004, Lance Bass came out of the closet on the cover of People Magazine. His revelation struck a chord for me not just because he was a celebrity, as one-fifth of the world-famous pop group 'N Sync, but because he was from Clinton, Miss. As far as I knew growing up, there were no gay people in Clinton.
"I don't have to look back very far in my lived experience to recall a time when I was afraid to live openly. I once thought the very best I could hope for was to get a job, fall in love, and keep that part of my life hidden from family and clients."
Magnolia, Miss., passed a resolution 3-2 recognizing the dignity and worth of all city residents - including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).
Although there is growing support for equal rights in both Jackson and the state, legislation like SB 2681 has the potential to encourage and legalize discrimination, harking back to Jim Crow legislation.
While a federal district judge in Mississippi may rule same-sex marriage is a constitutional right as soon as this week, the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state is in the hands of the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals and, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled Lauren Czekala-Chatham's divorce legal in concurrence with the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.
The fight for freedom of both African Americans and LGBT people, and those who are both, is the focus of the Human Rights Campaign's Freedom Summer Conference this week.
The Mississippi LGBT community is anxiously awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could federally legalize same-sex marriage, which would make it legal in the state.
Next week, the Human Rights Campaign kicks off its latest endeavor, Project One America, in Jackson. The Mississippi stop is one of three HRC will make during a tour that also goes through Alabama and Arkansas.
Advocates have injected new energy into the push for LGBT rights with a flurry of recent activity in Jackson and throughout Mississippi. This afternoon, several organizations from around the state rallied in Jackson's Smith Park to urge policymakers to affirm the human rights of LGBT people.