(Maddie will be our guest on the first half of the November 22 podcast)
So a few weeks ago I wrote about small town liquor laws in Mississippi, and now it looks like my home state is calling my name again! Liberty and economic growth being sacrificed for morality?—I’m on it! This time, we’re moving about two hours to the north to Shannon, MS.
In 2006, Kevin Smith picked Shannon to feature in his documentary Small Town Gay Bar, where he features—you guessed it—gay bars in rural southern communities. Shannon, however, must have decided that being friendly to gay people is just way too mainstream, because the town is making headlines again for refusing to grant a license for a gay bar.
PJ Newton, a Mississippi native, owned and operated the bar featured in Small Town Gay Bar. An open lesbian, Newton operated the bar from 1994 – 1998 until she sold it and moved to Memphis, MS. However, after “numerous gays and lesbians in northeast Mississippi said they wanted a place where they could feel comfortable and unwind without feeling threatened,” Newton decided to reopen the bar and re-christen it “O’Hara’s.”
No dice. The town aldermen rejected Newton’s business license application four-to-one. Now, Newton and the Southern Poverty Law Center are suing the town of Shannon, demanding equal protection of the law for Shannon and retribution for denying her right to free speech.
C4SS Senior Fellow Nathan Goodman speaking on "Rape Culture, Transphobia and How Communities can Resist" at the Genderevolution Conference in Utah, Salt Lake City on November 16, 2013.
Here is the link to our Google Hangout for November, taking place at 3pm Pacific on 11/17/2013.
(Reprinted from Joe Scarry)
I was in Springfield Tuesday with thousands of other Illinoisans to encourage our state legislature to pass the marriage equality bill (SB10). Even if you weren't there, you can get a sense of what it was like -- raindrops and all! -- thanks to the dozens of photos my friend Frank took. Enjoy!