Hattiesburg, Miss. Takes Stand Against LGBT Discrimination

2.19.2014

By Neal Broverman

The southern Mississippi city, a setting for the civil rights battles of last century, is applauded by the Human Rights Campaign.

Hattiesburg, the third-largest city in a state that still bears the Confederate stars and bars on their flag, passed an LGBT-inclusive ordinance on Tuesday.

The resolution spells out the city's official stance against LGBT discrimination. The vote by the city council was unanimous and supported by Mayor Johnny DuPree. Hattiesburg becomes the second city in Mississippi to adopt such an ordinance, following in the footsteps of Starkville last month.

“Amid a growing number of victories for equality across the country, city leaders in Hattiesburg tonight chose to send a powerful message to their residents that all people are worthy of dignity and respect," HRC president Chad Griffin said in a statement. "When local leaders like Mayor Johnny DuPree and members of the city council affirm the inherent value of LGBT people, they are affecting profound change that will improve lives. While we still have work ahead of us, there’s no question that equality is marching forward and attitudes are changing in Mississippi faster than we’ve seen ever before.”

Hattiesburg is home to the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. Hattiesburg was the scene of many battles in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, especially when it came to ending the disenfranchisement of Mississippi's black voters. The city is now home to the African American Military History Museum and is less than two hours north of New Orleans.

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