"Under Mississippi’s mandated sex-education curriculum, teachers are required to instruct students that homosexual activity under the "unnatural intercourse" statute is illegal, and that a "monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the only appropriate setting for sexual intercourse."
Since 2012, Mississippi has required all school districts to offer an abstinence-centered sex-ed curriculum, although 12 percent of districts have not yet implemented any sex-ed courses, according to a recent study by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy.
The law also requires male and female students to be instructed in separate classrooms and prohibits condom demonstrations in schools.
While several states maintain anti-sodomy laws — including Alabama, Louisiana and Utah — a November 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that “Mississippi probably continues to be the most conservative state in the country when it comes to same sex marriage." Only 22 percent of Mississippi voters said they support marriage equality, with 69 percent thinking it should be illegal.
On Thursday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed a contentious bill potentially legalizing anti-LGBT discrimination throughout the state under the auspices of religious freedom.
"It’s the first time in my life that I’ve actually considered moving out of Mississippi," Jeff White, a founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Lesbian and Gay Community Center, said on Thursday. "It made me physically ill the past few days, realizing what they’re trying to do.""