Adam Dupuis's picture

LGBT Heroes Send Us Updates From Texas and Missouri & Anti-Gay Adoption's Last Stand Is In Mississippi.

We still have a long way to go but we've come so far.  There are still some stragglers not granting LGBT couples marriage licenses in our nation, but they will hopefully be fired soon or maybe they will see the light.  And why aren't they fired yet for not doing their job!

On Thursday, I Facebook chatted with easy on the eyes and heart Lamar County Texas court clerk Russ Towers.  Back in July, we covered his story of moving forward with SCOTUS marriage equality ruling in Texas.  During our chat, he informed, "Of the 254 county clerks in Texas, there were 22 who began issuing on the day of the ruling.  I was proud to be one of the 22.  I had to create gender neutral forms to get by that day.  All of us who issued did that.  Everyone now has the updated forms.  Last I heard, there is only one clerk who isn't complying."

Another update I received from one of our previous heroes was from Jacob Wilson on the creation of the Missouri College Scholarship.  If you recall, the story was "alum-takes-high-road-combat-hometowns-narrow-minded-response-scotus-ruling" and Wilson's response was to start the Missouri Courage Scholarship for students who are helping improve their communities on behalf of LGBT people and other marginalized groups. He stated, "Hey Adam! We raised our $12K goal in 12 days for the Missouri Courage Scholarship!"

With support from people as far away as Brazil, and many across the country from Missouri to Florida to New York to California, the Courage Scholarship was able to raise $12,000 in just 12 days!

The donations and support will fund two annual Courage Scholarships that will acknowledge, affirm, and reward the courage of a graduating senior from Salem High School, and a graduating senior from another part of Missouri (open to all graduating high school seniors in Missouri), who have demonstrated their willingness to work for change in their community to advance the lives of LGBT people and other groups who have historically faced discrimination.

All graduating seniors who have worked to advance the dignity and equality of the LGBT community, the lives of people of color, religious minorities, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities will be considered. We believe the advancement and inclusion of any marginalized group is essential to the empowerment of all who have been marginalized.  - www.facebook.com/CourageScholarship

Thanks Jacob for the update!  What a positive thing to come out of such a negative political action and all it took was for someone to say no, this is not right.

It looks like most states are doing much better now with marriage equality (sans Kentucky) and if they are not, we are quick to come to action.  Stragglers are falling.  If there's just one clerk in Texas and one in Kentucky, we're doing pretty good.  And scholarships are being established to highlight the positive to promote good instead of the bad.

A NOT SO FUN UPDATE ...

Mississippi is the last straggler, not in marriage equality but in another category, allowing LGBT citizens to adopt.

Marriage became legal for same-sex couples in Mississippi fewer than two months ago when the United States Supreme Court struck down bans nationwide. Now, a federal lawsuit is seeking to overturn the state’s ban those couples on adopting children — the last such ban standing in the United States. - deepsouthdaily

Zach Magee of DeepSouthDaily.com is blaming  for keeping his state behind all the rest.  Is the fight against "adoption equality" in Mississippi stem from a personal issue?

He wants [Mississippi Attorney General Jim] Hood to defend the state’s ban on adoptions by same-sex couples, which the Campaign for Southern Equality filed a lawsuit against this week.  The bottom line is that Governor Phil Bryant is not the Christian crusader with wholesome family values that he is often painted to be. I believe him to be a rogue. He has continued a long legacy of robbing Mississippians of their rights. He has even denied justice to his own son by not refusing to pursue those who assaulted him out of fear that it would bring his son’s sexuality into the light.  - deepsouthdaily.com

Let's keep our eyes on this last state to punish loving LGBT couples that want to become parents and families.  We hope to have a positive update on this topic, like we did from Towers and Wilson.

But will such an update happen? I am not sure it will, but I hope.

I was shocked to read that as recently as 2012, a Mississippi church denied a black marriage from taking place.  Here's is thegrio.com's coverage of the 2012 racist occurrence.

 

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Bryant said the denial of a wedding for a black couple at a traditionally white church has “tainted” Mississippi’s image nationwide.

“I’m sure there are very good people of Crystal Springs and in that Baptist church that don’t feel that way and are supporting that effort,” Bryant said of the Wilsons’ desire to marry in the church.

“Look, when people want to get married, we ought to let them get married,” Bryant said. “We have enough people that won’t go and get married. I want to make every opportunity I can for any couple that wants to, to go get married.”

Even gay couples?

“I wouldn’t say gay couples, no,” Bryant said. “I’d say a man and a woman. Let me make sure, let’s get that right. When I say couples, I automatically assume it’s a man and a woman.”

In the November 2004 general election, 86 percent of Mississippi voters approved an amendment banning same-sex marriage. Bryant, who was state auditor at the time, publicly supported the amendment.   - thegrio.com