Hattiesburg is the second Mississippi municipality to pass such a resolution in the past month, with the city of Starkville taking similar action last month.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
“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. 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 a community that is strongest when all of our residents feel they can live openly and safely,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. “We draw our strength from our diversity – our different backgrounds, our different talents, our different passions. I’d like to thank the city council for joining me tonight in making this very important resolution a reality.”
Public opinion on equality in Mississippi is far ahead of law in the state. A poll conducted last summer found that nearly 60 percent of Mississippians under the age of 30 support marriage equality, while 64 percent of residents back workplace non-discrimination protections for LGBT employees.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.