FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mobile, AL (September 26, 2014) – Today marks the launch of Mobile Equality, a coalition of LGBTQ and allied organizations working towards equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community of Mobile, Alabama.
Coalition members include the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, Mobile Pride Council, OpenTable: A Community of Faith, and various student clubs at the University of South Alabama.
The coalition’s first initiative is to propose a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in education, employment, housing, and places of public accommodation in the City of Mobile. In Mobile, it is currently legal for employers to fire an employee for coming out as gay, or a place of public accommodation to refuse service to a same-sex couple that is getting married.
“Unfortunately, there aren’t any cities in the State of Alabama that have a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance. LGBT activists in the City of Birmingham have been trying to adopt one for years but have been unsuccessful due to legal technicalities,” says Amanda Scott, founder of Mobile Equality. “Our goal is to make the City of Mobile the first city in Alabama to do so and set an example for other cities to follow.”
The coalition is making a special effort to reach out to faith leaders in the area that welcome LGBT people. LGBT people are often excommunicated by their congregations for their sexual orientation and gender identity.
“My denomination (the United Church of Christ), my congregation (Open Table UCC), and I hope to counter the great harm committed against LGBT people,” says Reverend Ellen Guice Sims, Pastor of Open Table: A Community of Faith, a United Church of Christ affiliate. “One way I am living out my Christian commitments and pastoral integrity is by advocating for a nondiscrimination ordinance in my city as a step toward ending prejudice and preventing injustice against sexual minorities.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama has also put its support behind the coalition.
“The ACLU of Alabama stands with Mobile Equality and fully supports equal treatment for all citizens of Mobile regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or their expression,” says Susan Watson, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. “It is time for sweeping change in Alabama, and Mobile is the perfect place to start.”
Founder of Mobile Equality