Confirmed victory
Petitioning Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and 3 others
This petition was delivered to:
Mississippi Attorney General
Jim Hood
Department of Agriculture and Commerce
Andy Prosser
Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum
Charlie Dixon
Mississippi Governor

Allow gay couple to hold a wedding commitment ceremony on state grounds

When newly engaged couple, Stephen Walters and Kevin Garrard, went to the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum to reserve a space for their wedding commitment ceremony, they were turned away for being gay.

Attorney General Jim Hood had the following comments regarding this issue: "We are of the opinion that the Department (of Agriculture and Commerce) is certainly authorized to restrict the use of museum property for events and functions that are legal under state law. Therefore, (the department) is authorized to prohibit same gender marriages on museum property."

The spokesperson for Agriculture and Commerce Department, Andy Prosser said the following: "Commitment events, as far as the state goes, are a representation of a union, and state law says that a union can only be between a man and a woman."

Here is a link to the news article:  http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20120220/NEWS/202200311/Gay-ceremony-ag-museum-nixed

Jim Hood and Andy Prosser should both be ashamed of themselves for distorting the Mississippi laws in such a way to promote their outright bigotry. By denying this couple the usage of state grounds simply because the state does not recognize their union as valid, the Department of Agriculture and Commerce is hindering their civil rights as Americans. Just because the state does not acknowledge their marriage, these two men have every right to have a wedding surrounded by their family and friends. Nowhere in the Mississippi constitution does it say that same-sex couples are not allowed to hold commitment ceremonies. Whether or not this couple chooses to pursue this site as a location for their wedding ceremony, the state of Mississippi needs to address this problem immediately and educate people about the difference between a simple ceremony and a legally recognized bridal registry. Two people of the same sex celebrating their love for one another may not be legally recognized in our state (yet), but that does NOT make it illegal!!

 


Letter to
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood
Department of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Prosser
Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum Charlie Dixon
and 1 other
Mississippi Governor
Dear Official of the State of Mississippi or Ag Museum Faculty,


When newly engaged couple, Stephen Walters and Kevin Garrard, went to the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum to reserve a space for their wedding commitment ceremony, they were turned away for being gay. Attorney General Jim Hood had the following comments on the matter after a similar request in 2009: "We are of the opinion that the Department (of Agriculture and Commerce) is certainly authorized to restrict the use of museum property for events and functions that are legal under state law. Therefore, (the department) is authorized to prohibit same gender marriages on museum property."

The spokesperson for Agriculture and Commerce Department, Andy Posser said the following: "Commitment events, as far as the state goes, are a representation of a union, and state law says that a union can only be between a man and a woman."

Jim Hood , Andy Prosser, and some members of the museum faculty should all be ashamed of themselves for distorting the Mississippi laws in such a way to promote this outright bigotry. By denying this couple the usage of state grounds simply because the state does not recognize their union as valid, the Department of Agriculture and Commerce is hindering their American civil rights. Just because the state does not acknowledge their marriage, these two men have every right to have a wedding surrounded by their family and friends. Nowhere in the Mississippi Constitution does it say that same-sex couples are not allowed to hold commitment ceremonies. Whether or not this couple chooses to pursue this site as a location for their wedding ceremony, the state of Mississippi needs to address this problem immediately and educate people about the difference between a simple ceremony and a legally recognized bridal registry. Two people of the same sex celebrating their love for one another may not be legally recognized in our state (yet), but it is NOT illegal!!

Leaders of the great state of Mississippi, PLEASE do not allow situations like this to happen again! Please educate yourselves and your colleagues about the difference between a state-issued marriage license and a simple wedding celebration which has no legal status. Discrimination such as this should never happen in a state department.

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Sincerely,