Tupelo, Mississippi. 

Elvis Presley's birthplace.  The first county seat in Mississippi with a monument to the struggle for civil rights to be placed on the courthouse square.  A city in the northeast quadrant of the state where hope is growing for a future with everyone enjoying the civil rights we cherish in the United States.

     People of color are now free to enjoy life anywhere they can afford to live.  Women actually hold some elective offices and speak out when they wish.

     There is a class of people who are NOT YET FREE to enjoy all of the rights our Constitution guarantees and who do not yet benefit from "...liberty and justice for ALL."  People who at a certain age come to realize that they are homosexual and long for a partner of the same sex are treated as pariahs, and laws prevent them from their full rights under the Constitution. The time has come when they too must be recognized as human beings, entitled to all of the civil rights our Constitution extends to ALL citizens.  ALL CITIZENS.

There are people who care, who are working for equality for ALL.  October 2011 will be a benchmark month. 

Noon October 10, 2011
The Link Centre
Tupelo, Mississippi

Rally for Equality for ALL
Each time a person stands up for an ideal,
or acts to improve the lot of others...
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,
and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring,
those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
                                               Robert F. Kennedy
The Link Centre  [link] 

1800 W. Main St. In Tupelo is a "Community Cultivator" an incubator for new ideas and events.    It is a non-profit organization underwritten by the CREATE Foundation [link] is the leading philanthropic organization in the region.

Those who wish to participate may gather around 10:00 am to prepare tables for information displays, hang banners, get to know each other and meet the organizers and sponsors.  The goals for the days activities are:

       To show the colors of our organizations and assure people that there are groups
             and places of tolerance and acceptance of all people, with no exceptions.

       To provide colorful action events that will attract television and print news media and
            show that the South does have caring, loving people who do not Judge others.

       To provide a center for at least one day where reliable information is available
            about human sexuality.

       To do constructive networking to improve our ability to counter hateful propaganda.

October 10th at Noon:

We will gather on Main Street in front of the Link Centre with banners, posters and handouts.  Bring your own or help with ours.  Home made signs are welcome.  This peaceful public display will attract the public traveling on Main Street and (we hope) also provide colorful activity useful to the media.  Be prepared to speak to reporters and to appear in photographs and television.  Please be mindful that the community will judge us by our actions.

Our message is that all people are endowed by their Creator with Certain Inalienable Rights that include Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness and Equality under the Constitution of the United States.

Let us gather to proclaim:

        There are NO EXCEPTIONS to the guarantee of Equal Justice under the Law.

        The Gay and Lesbian members of our community must not be made to live in  fear.

        The Right to Life and the Pursuit of Happiness means NO ONE should be harassed or bullied.

        Public expressions of homophobia are NOT acceptable, especially not by organizations
            claiming to represent religious views of family values.

October 10th at 2:00 pm:

     Let us gather to learn:

Link Centre Concert Hall, there will be a free public screening of "OUT IN THE SILENCE", the acclaimed, hopeful and entertaining documentary film about courageous local residents confronting homophobia and the limitations of religion, tradition and the status quo in their conservative small town.

The screening will be followed by a dynamic town hall-style public forum aimed at engaging the audience in an action-oriented dialogue about inclusion, fairness, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all people in Mississippi, throughout the South, and across the country.

Filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer will be on-hand to help lead the discussion, and the public is invited to participate and to share their perspectives on the issues, and ideas for promoting change, with the audience.

     Gender Orientation is NOT a matter of "choice".

     This behavior has not been considered a pathology since the 1990's.   Reputable psychologists
          and psychiatrists no longer treat this as an illness.

     Studies by clinical researchers in brain structure and function report sexual orientation is inborn.

     Many faith communities embrace LGBT people fully and have inclusive theological interpretations.

Following the film screening and town-hall forum, participants are invited to continue the conversation in the Link Centre's Reception Hall and to visit with representatives of local groups and organizations to learn about their work and how to get more involved and take action.

If you or your organization would like to set-up an information table, please contact Melanie Deas at: mdeas@link-centre.org

IF you or your organization would like to add your names to the list of sponsors and supporters, please use the e-mail icon to tell us so and state how you want to appear.  Organizations may include a link to their website if they wish.

Supporting and Sponsoring Organizations
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Tupelo Mississippi
Parents Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Laurel, MS [Link]
Out in the Silence [Link]
Americans United for Separation of Church & State [Link]
Tennessee Equality Project  [Link]
Equality Federation
Out Now Youth  [Link]
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations [Link]
Standing on the Side of Love  [Link]
PFLAG Oxford/North Mississippi [Link]
University of Mississippi Gay-Straight Alliance [Link]
OUTLAW at University of Mississippi School of Law
Georgia Equality [Link]
Mississippi Workers' Center for Human Rights [Link]
Jim High
Tupelo, MS
Rev. Fred Hammond
UUA Mid-South District
Rev. Doak Mansfield
Red Hill Universalist
Clinton, NC
Rev Paul Stevens
All Saints Episcopal
Tupelo, MS
Robert Spencer
Lay Minister
UU Congregation of Tupelo
Gail Stratton
Oxford, MS
Dick Johnson
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