By Alex Lambert, Mitzvah Corps Civil Rights Journey 2017 Participant
Perhaps one of the most important stops on our Mitzvah Corps Civil Rights Journey trip so far has been the Human Rights Campaign in Jackson, Mississippi. For those who are unfamiliar with the organization, the HRC is devoted to obtaining equal rights for the LGBTQ community. In this day and age, the gay community struggles in many places to obtain these rights. One of these places is Mississippi.
Coming from New Jersey, a place where the LGBTQ community is widely embraced, I was startled by the culture change in Mississippi. Here, people can turn away members of the gay community from their businesses just because of their sexuality. In my opinion, this is absolutely disgusting. Everyone deserves the same rights, no matter who they are attracted to. The HRC is working hard to create change in Mississippi, but as we learned, this change is not coming easily. Mississippi’s government has reaffirmed time and time again that they support a total ban on the practice of homosexuality. This stance is atrocious and should be given more thought.
I was raised to believe that everyone is created equal, no matter their skin color or sexuality. This is why the HRC is so important to me. The people at this organization are fighting hard for equality. I cannot imagine a society where people are turned down from businesses solely because of who they love. Sadly, this is the reality in Mississippi. But reality can be changed, and the HRC is trying to do just that. I urge everyone to either donate or volunteer with this great organization, because civil rights are human rights.