Mississippi Mayor Becomes First To Announce Support Of Marriage Equality

By BTL Staff

WAVELAND, Miss. - LGBTQ Nation reports that they mayor of Waveland, Miss., David Garcia, has announced his support for same-sex marriage. This makes him the first sitting mayor of the southern state to publicly support marriage equality.

Garcia adds his name to the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry list. Over 400 mayors in 38 states have added their name to the movement in open support of same-sex marriage.

Garcia released a statement saying: "We know many people in loving and committed same-sex relationships who are active participants in improving our communities and we've seen how important marriage has been for them and their families. Because I believe in fairness for all American families, I support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples willing to take on that commitment."

The Waveland city council passed an anti-discrimination resolution in May that recognized the "dignity and worth of all city residents," specifying inclusion of those who are LGBT. Waveland is one of eight Mississippi municipalities that have adopted such a resolution. Other cities include Jackson, Starkville, Hattiesburg, Greenville, Magnolia, Bay St. Louis and Oxford.

The move by Waveland mayor and other cities to support marriage equality or protect LGBT citizens from discrimination comes after a "religious freedom" bill passed the Mississippi legislature earlier this month. Opponents of the measure, already signed by Gov. Phil Bryant, say the bill would effectively sanction discrimination against the LGBT people of Mississippi.

Despite the conflicting stances on equality held by Mississippi officials, hundreds of businesses are displaying a decal welcoming LGBT customers into their stores, restaurants and more. Garcia noted that LGBT residents in Waveland help the economy and spend money like any other resident.

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