Lance Bass, Marriage Equality and Mississippi Travel

lance bass mississippi gays

Mississippi-born Lance Bass sure has been in the news lately. Two weeks ago he attacked Mississippi’s anti-gay religious “freedom to discriminate” bill. Yesterday the former ‘N Sync boy band singer met at the White House with President Obama to talk health care reform. Today, a video he recorded with his fiancé for Freedom To Marry’s new push to win marriage for same-sex couples in the Southern states launched.

Bass says he grew up in a town of just 2000 people, and “it felt great” to feel like his neighbors were part of his extended family.

“We were best friends for about a month,” Bass says of his now-fiancé Michael Turchin. “I didn’t know that he liked me, and he didn’t know that I liked him… We just related on so many things, and I just knew that he was going to be part of my life. And I’m just glad it’s going to be as a husband,” Bass says, with a boyish smirk.

“Marriage to me is a commitment that you make to the person you love that you want to spend the rest of your life with,” Bass says, and talks about how his parents role-modeled marriage for him.

Bass believes that “people really do support gay marriage,” and “there’s tons of support” in Mississippi. He urges the younger generation, whom he says is scared, to talk about marriage equality openly with their parents.

“There’s nothing to be scared of,” Turchin says.

Take a look at Freedom To Marry’s website, Southerners for the Freedom to Marry.

HOWEVER…….

GetEQUAL Mississippi — a statewide grassroots social justice organization working toward the full equality of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Mississippians — has issued a “travel alert” to any LGBT person planning travel to the the state. This alert has been issued based on the fact that Mississippi is on the cusp of passing Senate Bill 2681 — the so-called “Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act” — through the House, and then sending it to the governor for signature or veto.

GetEQUAL Mississippi alerts those traveling to the state of a continued risk of discrimination based upon sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The State of Mississippi does not currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (“LGBT”) people from being legally ejected from their hotel rooms or other places of public accommodation, and is on the cusp of passing legislation that would give business owners even more latitude to legally discriminate against minority groups.

Those who are required to travel to Mississippi are encouraged to take the following precautions:

– Avoid traveling alone in the state.

– Only book travel at hotels which have policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

– Visit only known LGBT-friendly establishments, including restaurants, bars and venues.

– Be aware of your surroundings and adopt other appropriate safety measures to protect yourself while traveling.