Now that elections have taken place, it’s time to buckle our seatbelts for the 2024 Legislative Session. The ACLU of MS will continue its dedication to promoting, defending, and extending civil rights and civil liberties to all Mississippians. This year, our top priorities focus on censorship, equal access/equality for all, voting rights protections, as well as governmental transparency and accountability.
So how will we do this? We will present legislative bills that accomplish our goals while standing on watch for those that threaten to block the civil liberties and rights of Mississippians.
To start, much of what we are fighting for revolves around the free expression of speech and self, which must be protected. To be more specific, each of these areas have been attacked or hindered in ways that affect the ability of Mississippians to have the equality they are granted by the law of the land, the United States Constitution.
We must strive continually to search and advocate for reforms that benefit and protect the people. It is paramount that we continue fighting for opportunities that eliminate barriers to a better quality of life. Many believe that early voting, for instance, assists with the proficiency of precincts of election day while not discouraging voters with extremely long lines and last-minute changes. While in contrast, individuals against early voting believe that it offers a space to issues like fraud or misinformation with voting.
We have also seen an alarming number of attacks around censoring literature that has been around for decades as well as vicious attacks on reproductive rights and the LGBTQ community. While we understand that certain content should be reserved for mature audiences, we are not saying that we are supportive of subliminal attacks on anyone’s life choices. One’s choices and ability to learn should not be censored for the sake of religious beliefs.
The hateful rhetoric and push to discourage has led the way for discrimination to fester. While the South has been widely known for its exclusionary practices, they are not to be excused or accepted in 2024. We must continue speaking out against and advocating for practices that allow individuals to live and be recognized as they desire.
It is a matter of choice. Much like our political ideologies, we differ but should be respected whether we agree or not.
So, overall, our fight this session is to ensure that all Mississippians, no matter their descriptive factors, are not hindered from accomplishing their best quality of life. It is our goal to stand in the gap, helping them maintain and fight for their civil rights and liberties.