Mississippi Set to Have First Openly Gay Legislator, Democrat Fabian Nelson

Democrat Fabian Nelson is set to become Mississippi’s first openly gay state legislator after winning a primary election runoff Tuesday.

via NYDN:

“I still think I’m in a dream. I’m still trying to process it and take it in,” Nelson said Wednesday. “It’s still shocking to me, I have to be honest.”

The Democratic state House candidate is a 38-year-old realtor from Byram, Miss., who beat out Byram alderwoman Roshunda Harris-Allen, a professor at Tougaloo College in Jackson.

Because Republicans did not have a candidate in the district’s general election, Nelson will cruise to the office and is expected to be sworn in sometime before the new year.

His race against Harris-Allen was to decide who would represent the south Jackson metro area, and continued to a runoff after the initial Aug. 8 primary resulted in neither candidate garnering a majority.

Nelson’s victory “sends a real message in a time when we are seeing attacks legislatively and through violence against the LGBTQ+ community that the majority of people reject that kind of animus,” said Rob Hill, the state director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Mississippi chapter.

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest organization dedicated to LGBTQ rights in the U.S., endorsed Nelson.

The organization claimed that the country is in a state of emergency back in June, noting legislation being regularly passed that discriminates against LGBTQ people.

“I think a lot of youth around the state who have felt like their leaders are rejecting them or targeting them won’t feel as lonely today,” Hill said.

Nelson said he hopes to fight against policies harming marginalized communities.

“I’m going to walk in there, and I’m going to be a sound voice as to why things like this can’t continue to go on in the state of Mississippi,” he affirmed.

The Hinds County district he will represent is comprised of southwest Jackson and part of Byram, Terry and Salem.

Congrats to Fabian!

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