While LGBT people around the nation celebrate the landmark victories for marriage equality at the Supreme Court, the Campaign for Southern Equality is once again bringing the fight for equality into the Deep South.
In 2011 the group launched its We Do campaign, highlighting real same-sex couples who stood up and asked for marriage licenses in their hometowns across the South. Each couple was denied a license but gained the opportunity to shine a light on how their home state treats them as fundamentally unequal. After a two-month hiatus, the We Do couples are back on the road, speaking out for equal treatment in what some might consider an unlikely locale: Mississippi.
But why Mississippi, a state where the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by a staggering 86% of voters in 2004? Why choose Mississippi, where The New York Times estimated support for marriage equality by 2016 will be just 31.5%, the lowest in the nation?
"Sometimes, when you're looking at bigotry and discrimination, you have to scratch at the surface a little bit, and shine some light on it — the way you do an infection — let it breathe, to cure it," said the Reverend Jasmine Beach Ferrarra, the Campaign for Southern Equality's executive director, in a new video that deftly answers that very question.
Then there's the fact that more than a quarter of same-sex couples living in Mississippi are raising children, the group discovered. That's the highest percentage of LGBT parents in any state in the union.
Discover some of the other compelling reasons to fight for equality deep in the South in the heart-rending video below. And learn more about the Campaign for Southern Equality's We Do campaign here, including details about its four upcoming stops in towns across Mississippi this month.