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Monday, July 15, 2013

Even in Mississippi, openly homophobic bigotry is becoming bad politics

Maddow Blog - Gay couple in Mississippi asks for marriage license. You'll never guess what happened
Laura Conaway: The Southern Equality campaign continues its swing through Mississippi. Last week, same-sex couples tried to get marriage licenses in the southern part of the state. On Wednesday, a couple that includes a member of the Air Force Reserve got turned down in tiny Poplarville.

Today in the capital city of Jackson, more couples asked for the right to marry. That’s one of them, pictured above (photo by Jessica Bowman of WLBT).
As far as protest and awareness efforts go, this is pretty run of the mill stuff, really. Laudable and worthwhile in putting a human face on an issue that may lack them for some, but hardly unusual.

And that’s when Conaway makes a good catch:

After one of the couples today got turned down, Clarion-Ledger reporter Dustin Barnes tweeted that “sounds of laughter could be heard in clerk’s office." A few minutes later, Barnes added more. "Hinds Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn said when gay man cried in her office about denial of marriage license, 1 of her employees almost cried too," he tweeted. “Dunn said she was sure her employees weren’t laughing at same-sex couples who were denied marriage license in Jxn today." I know it may not seem like much in blue states, but I can tell you from experience that when it’s no longer acceptable for there to be any hint of making fun of gay couples in Mississippi — and when it’s OK to show some empathy for them — you’re looking at real change.
It may not seem like it sometimes, but progress is being made every day. That said, let’s see if we can’t speed it up a bit.

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