JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Saturday, May 22 marks the first official Harvey Milk Day in the state of California, and supporters are rallying in other states, including Mississippi.
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in a major city. He served as a Supervisor in San Francisco for about a year until he was assassinated in 1978. May 22 was his birthday.
Gay and lesbian rights groups are celebrating the occasion, and an event was held at our state capitol Saturday morning.
Jenni Smith is co-founder of "Unity Mississippi". She says Mississippi has an undeserved reputation of intolerance.
"There is a lot of progressive minded people here, a lot of people that don't tolerate this kind of discrimination in Mississippi. These things happen all over the country," she says.
Jones points to the cases of gay high school students Constance McMillen and Ceara Sturgis. Both girls claimed their schools discriminated against them. Because their stories made national headlines, Jones says Mississippi continues to be stereotyped as anti-gay.
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