Mississippi

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

Mississippi
No Statewide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections
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LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Mississippi:

There are currently no explicit, comprehensive statewide non-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people in Mississippi.

The Latest on LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Mississippi:

In April 2016, the Mississippi General Assembly passed—and Governor Phil Bryant signed—House Bill 1523, legislation that allows individuals as well as businesses and organizations like hospitals and schools to legally cite their religious beliefs as an excuse to discriminate. In May of that same year, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against HB 1523, and the Campaign for Southern Equality re-opened a lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage; HB 1523 includes provisions allowing government agencies to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

History of LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Mississippi:

  • February 7, 2013: The state senate passes The Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013 — an act which protects the views of students in any educational institution from being reprimanded for their religious views. Under the bill, a school may not discipline a student for expressing anti-LGBT views either verbally or through written assignments. Governor Phil Bryant signs the bill into law that July.
  • January, 2014: The city of Starkville passes a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance; this will later be challenged by city council.
  • January 6, 2015: Starkville City Council votes 5-2 to repeal the non-discrimination ordinance. On January 8, Mayor Parker Wiseman vetoes the repeal; council overrides the veto on January 21, effectively repealing the ordinance.
  • April 5, 2016: Governor Bryant signs HB 1523 into law.
  • April 6, 2016: Jackson and Biloxi city councils pass resolutions condemning HB 1523.
  • May 9, 2016: The ACLU files a lawsuit challenges HB 1523.
  • May 10, 2016: The Campaign for Southern Equality re-opens its lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage. The lawsuit is updated to include HB 1523.

Municipalities with LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Mississippi:

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity:

  • City of Jackson
  • City of Waveland
  • City of Bay St. Louis
  • City of Greenville
  • City of Magnolia
  • City of Oxford
  • City of Hattiesburg

Last Updated February 23, 2018

Active Litigation

Starkville Pride v. City of Starkville

Case Concerning Discrimination Against LGBTQ People

Key Date: March 6, 2018 • City of Starkville reverses anti-LGBTQ decision
Status: Resolved, with Victory for LGBTQ Plaintiffs
Legal Team: Private Counsel and Campaign for Southern Equality
Type: Other LGBT Litigation

Plaintiffs Mississippi State University students Bailey McDaniel and Emily Turner filed the federal lawsuit and asked a judge to overrule the city's decision to block the planned parade and immediately grant a parade permit to Starkville Pride.

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Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant & Barber v. Bryant

Case Challenging Anti-LGBTQ Law HB1523 in Mississippi

Key Date: January 8, 2018 • U.S. Supreme Court Denied Certiorari
Status: Case Resolved; SCOTUS Denied Certiorari
Legal Team: Campaign for Southern Equality, Lambda Legal & Mississippi Center for Justice
Type: Anti-LGBT Laws

The law allows Mississippi officials, state employees, and private individuals who hold certain religious beliefs to deny a wide array of services to LGBT individuals. 

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