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Bryant Lends Voice For Personhood Amendment As Deadline Approaches

January 13, 2010
tags: ballot initiative, Initiative 26, Personhood Mississippi
by Brett

There is a reason Mississippi has seen only two ballot initiatives that citizens have started actually make it to a vote- because it’s a very hard and long process. But, it looks like one of the current proposed initiatives is in good position as the February 12 deadline for signatures approaches.

Les Riley, leader of the Personhood Mississippi amendment formally known as Initiative 26, said they have about 70,000 signatures currently. A total of 90,000 signatures equally divided along the old five Congressional districts is necessary for an initiative to be put on the ballot. In this case, it would be on the ballot along with the 2011 state and county elections.

Another proposed initiative, that which would require voter ID, has the backing of the Mississippi Republican Party and its organization. This does not. But it has attracted support from the two legislative leaders- Speaker Billy McCoy (D) and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (R)- in the past.

But it looks like Bryant has taken this a step further than offering his signature. He is now recording a phone call that will be sent to about 120,000 different families in South Mississippi.

Here is the message from Bryant:

“As we recently celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, let us remember that every unborn baby deserves a birthday. Please join me and my friends at Personhood Mississippi in saving the lives of thousands of unborn children who otherwise become victims of abortion.”

According to the article, it is the Southern part of the state where the signatures are lacking.

As I noted, there is no party organization behind this unlike voter ID. But at the same time, there is no party that is against this unlike voter ID with the Democratic party. While Mississippi may have chapters of NOW or Planned Parenthood, they are no where near as powerful as the NAACP (which opposes the voter ID amendment). In that sense, it may make collecting the signatures a little easier.

That said it is now crunch time for the Personhood Amendment. They need about 20,000 signatures in 30 days.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. marmie permalink
    January 13, 2010 3:43 pm

    It is the southern part of the state that is lacking the signatures for the Voter ID initiative as well. Many residents from Districts 1 and 3 are working in 2,4 and 5 to get the 17,857 certified signatures needed. I haven’t seen or been asked to sign the Personhood initiative. I will look for it in my county.

  2. Matt permalink
    January 13, 2010 4:42 pm

    A few thoughts:

    Has the state GOP said why they are not lending support to the personhood amendment?

    The fact that the signatures are lacking in South MS–what is the implication there? Just wondering b/c although I don’t want to overstate the numbers, I’ve always heard there is a significant Catholic population on the Coast. One would think that they would be supporting this.

    I did read that the Catholic bishop from Jackson is not supporting the personhood amendment b/c the national Catholic Church supports a human life amendment to the US Constitution, and fear that a state going rogue and doing this on it’s own could be damaging to the cause. I was surprised at that line of thinking, but wonder if there are other conservative/Christian groups who feel the same way?

  3. Les Riley permalink
    January 14, 2010 2:23 pm

    Marmie & Matt,

    I should be able to answer both of your questions at once.

    1) The reason that we are behind in the Southern part of the state (both the Coast & SW Miss) is much more practical & basic than you would imagine. We are a very small organization (our “headquarters” is literally desk & tall shlef in my basement,
    We started out with little money & three families. All three families are in North Mississippi. Most of the people I know are from Jackson North. So we have just been slowly & methodically working our way South. As people in South Miss are hearing about the Personhood Amendment, interest is growing rapidly. It just took a while to reach them.

    2) As to the question of the GOP not getting behinfd this, we have made an effort to make this non partisan. We are not trying to help one party or another or elect candidates.
    Personhood Mississippi exists to :
    * Amend our state constitution to define “person” in hopes of giving equal protection to all human beings in love & in law in our state
    * Live out our love for Christ & love for our neighbors in practical ways and call our fellow Mississippi Christians to do the same
    * Make child murder (aka abortion) illegal in our state
    * restore the rule of law, Constitutional government, & state sovreignty and turn back unconstitutional, illegal judicial usurpations.

    We have sought the support of all pro-life Mississippians regardless of party. We have received much support from a number of Republican leaders and some county party chapters have been working with us right along with the Voter ID, but we are not focusing on Republicans only.

    As has been mentioned on this blog, not only has Republican Lt Gov Phil Bryant signed the Personhood Petition, but so has Democratic House Speaker Billy McCoy, Stacy Pickering & many Republican legislators, like Chris McDaniel have been a big help, but so has my county sherriff — a Democrat.
    I have run for office & been involved with the Constitution Party. And we even have a couple of Libertarians helping us (go figure).

    We have attempted to reach across party, race & denominational lines to all Mississippians who want to see abortion end.

    If you fit in this category and want to sign (or want to get in touch with someone from your area who is working on the Personhood Amendment)
    Please visit :

    or call

    Time is short. We are close

    • January 14, 2010 3:27 pm

      Thanks for the update. We’ll be paying close attention.

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