The Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum is receiving flak today for discriminating against a same-sex couple that planned to rent its Masonic Hall for a commitment ceremony. Details follow.
The Museum, which frequently rents the hall to opposite-sex couples, killed Ceara Sturgis and Emily Key's dreams to hold their commitment ceremony in the hall, in front of family and friends.
"As a mother, I have dreamed of giving my daughter the wedding that she desires, and I want her to be able to get married in her hometown in front of our family and friends," said Ceara's mother Veronica Roderiguez. "We are not asking Mississippi to recognize Ceara and Emily’s relationship, although it should. We are just asking that they have the opportunity to hold a ceremony in a public place—the same as other couples."
The director of the state-owned musuem says his space has a policy banning same-sex couples from holding ceremonies of any kind on its premises, stemming from a 2009 directive issued by State Attorney General Jim Hood. In the letter, Hood gives the museum permission to limit its business to events deemed "legal" by law.
Sure, Mississippi has not yet extended marriage rights to all of its citizens, but since when is a commitment ceremony illegal?
The Southern Poverty Law Center agrees and has risen up to defend the couple based on the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Contact information for the museum is here.
(Source and image: ThinkProgress)