Citizens call for marriage equality in Hattiesburg - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Citizens call for marriage equality in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The Southern Equality Group brings the "We Do" campaign across 7 southern states. They're focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples in southern communities who are denied marriage licenses due to state law. The group calls it "an order to call for equality."

The purpose of the group is to make the impact of laws against equality visible to the general public. On Friday, several rallied in Hattiesburg.

Men, women, children, and a preacher with the Campaign for Southern Equality joined hands to pray before flooding through the doors at the Forrest County Courthouse on Friday. Executive Director of the campaign blessed their efforts.

"As a person of faith, I pray to a loving and mighty God," Jasmine Beach-Ferrara prayed.

Surrounded by friends and family, six same sex couples were denied in an attempt to obtain marriage licenses. Although the couples knew their attempts would not be accepted, couples say this is one step closer to equal marriage rights.

"Whenever someone hands you a piece of paper that confirms that the country you love sees you as a second class citizen breaks my heart," Sara Bell said.

Aaron Sarver, communications director for Southern Equality Group is a Mississippi native. He says the LGBT community grapples with more than just marriage rights.

"It's not just marriage. It's employment. You can be fired from your job for being LGBT in Mississippi," Sarver said.

One couple says they were often ridiculed and put down by others for their sexuality in high school. Now, they're on a mission. John Perkins is a Mississippi native who wants the same rights as heterosexual couples.

"We just want the same rights... Nothing special," he said.

"We want to be able to spend the life with the person we love and be able to show it. When Mississippi does allow this to be legal, we'll be the first ones here in line."

Although Mississippi does not approve same sex marriage, 13 states do.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • USM College of Business announces Eagle Suit Fund

    USM College of Business announces Eagle Suit Fund

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 4:40 PM EDT2017-09-20 20:40:46 GMT

    The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business will soon be providing deserving students with business suits to help them transition into their professions.  The school announced the partnership with clothing retailers Talbots and Jos. A. Bank to create a new initiative called the Eagle Suit Fund, sponsored by generous USM almnus.  “Our alumni and friends are our catalyst for lasting changes. Initiatives like this will help our students tak...

    More >>

    The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business will soon be providing deserving students with business suits to help them transition into their professions.  The school announced the partnership with clothing retailers Talbots and Jos. A. Bank to create a new initiative called the Eagle Suit Fund, sponsored by generous USM almnus.  “Our alumni and friends are our catalyst for lasting changes. Initiatives like this will help our students tak...

    More >>
  • Dozens of endangered tortoises released at Camp Shelby

    Dozens of endangered tortoises released at Camp Shelby

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 4:07 PM EDT2017-09-20 20:07:04 GMT
    About 90 endangered gopher tortoises were released into the wild at Camp Shelby Wednesday. Photo credit WDAM.About 90 endangered gopher tortoises were released into the wild at Camp Shelby Wednesday. Photo credit WDAM.

    The Mississippi Military Department, the Nature Conservancy and several state and federal agencies have teamed up to boost the numbers of endangered gopher tortoises at Camp Shelby and the DeSoto National Forest. 

    More >>

    The Mississippi Military Department, the Nature Conservancy and several state and federal agencies have teamed up to boost the numbers of endangered gopher tortoises at Camp Shelby and the DeSoto National Forest. 

    More >>
  • Laurel police searching for shooting suspect

    Laurel police searching for shooting suspect

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 3:51 PM EDT2017-09-20 19:51:36 GMT
    LAKENDALL ALEXANDER HUNTER Source: LPDLAKENDALL ALEXANDER HUNTER Source: LPD
    The Laurel Police Department is searching for a shooting suspect after a Tuesday morning fight.  Police responded to a report of shots fired at the 800 block of South Magnolia at approximately 11:10 a.m., according to a LPD press release. Complainants reported that a fight between several individuals had erupted into gunfire.  The suspect, Lakendall A. Hunter, reportedly fired three shots in the direction of several people, though no injuries were reported. ...More >>
    The Laurel Police Department is searching for a shooting suspect after a Tuesday morning fight.  Police responded to a report of shots fired at the 800 block of South Magnolia at approximately 11:10 a.m., according to a LPD press release. Complainants reported that a fight between several individuals had erupted into gunfire.  The suspect, Lakendall A. Hunter, reportedly fired three shots in the direction of several people, though no injuries were reported. ...More >>
Powered by Frankly