The Human Rights Campaign is bringing the gay equality struggle to the US South.
Today, 26 April, the LGBTI rights organization announced the formation of Project One America. The three-year initiative will focus on Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.
‘Right now, this country is deeply divided into two Americas—one where LGBT equality is nearly a reality and the other where LGBT people lack the most fundamental measures of equal citizenship,’ Chad Griffin HRC president, said in a statement.
‘Project One America is an unparalleled effort to close that gap, and it opens up a bold, new chapter in the LGBT civil rights movement of this generation. In this grand struggle for equality, we can’t write off anyone, anywhere,’ Griffin continued.
According to Lambda Legal, none of the three states have gay marriage, support civil unions, or work place discrimination laws for LGBTI employees.
The initiative has a budget of $8.5 million (â‚¬6.1) and staff of 20. HRC notes this will be the largest LGBTI equality campaign in the South.
Project One will focus on court battles and, according to the HRC press release, ‘building more inclusive institutions for LGBT people from the church pew to the workplace.’
On 6 May Griffin will visit Mississippi, as part of a three-state tour, to kick off the campaign.
Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi NAACP, considers the upcoming HRC work essential.
‘Equality for LGBT people is a fundamental principal of equal protection under the law,’ Johnson said in a statement. ‘We must join hands in working to bring economic opportunity and liberty to all of our communities if we are to move forward as a state and as a nation.’
The National Advancement for the Association of Colored People is the oldest civil rights organization in the US.