There are some days when I have to check my calendar to make sure this is 2012. This is one of those times.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant recently denounced a church that stopped a black couple from marrying in its sanctuary. The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, which is a predominantly white church, told Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson the day before their wedding in July that they were not allowed to be married in their church. The Wilsons are regular attendees at the First Baptist Church.
Gov. Bryant spoke out Thursday, calling the decision “an unfortunate situation,” and said that it gives the perception that Mississippi has not changed in the last few decades and is still viewed as being filled with discrimination and intolerance. (Mississippi, after all, was one of the last states to legalize interracial marriage and only did so because of the Supreme Court’s decision in 1967.)
Bryant told The Associated Press:
“Look, when people want to get married, we ought to let them get married. We have enough people that won’t go and get married. I want to make every opportunity I can for any couple that wants to, to go get married.”
Good for Bryant, except that he followed up his statement by adding: “Let me make sure, let’s get that right. When I say couples, I automatically assume it’s a man and a woman.”
Mississippi is one of 31 states in the country that have amended their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage. There are currently 38 states in total that have statutory laws that define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Real talk, #nerdland: “I want to make every opportunity I can for any couple” to get married should mean any couple, right? Nice attempt to play the good guy, Gov. Bryant, but you can’t say your state has changed when you’ve got a church in your state that denies a couple a space to marry based on the color of their skin and when you yourself refuse to acknowledge the rights of a couple based on their gender.