WASHINGTON – In a major victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Mississippi, the Jackson City Council unanimously voted in favor of an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The ordinance protects LGBT individuals from discrimination in housing, employment and public services.
“This ordinance is not only a major victory for LGBT individuals and their families in Jackson, but provides a bit of light following an incredibly difficult week for the LGBT community in Orlando and across the nation,” Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, said. “Thank you to the Jackson City Council for standing up to discrimination, and proving that everyone is worth being treated equally and protected under the law.”
Following the vote, Councilman Tyrone Hendrix told The Clarion Ledger:
“I think that this city council along with the mayor have said repeatedly that Jackson is not a place that will tolerate discrimination of any kind. Tonight’s vote was just more evidence of our sentiments.”
In April, Mississippi drew national attention when Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law one of the nation’s worst piece of anti-LGBT legislation. Under HB1523, elected and government employees are allowed to refuse to issue marriage licenses or perform ceremonies (as their jobs currently require); some businesses and nonprofit organizations may deny housing, jobs and public services to LGBT individuals and their families; and schools are permitted to discriminate against transgender students by prohibiting them from using the facilities or wearing clothing that matches their gender identity.
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.