Starkville’s City Council Tuesday passed an “inclusivity” resolution recognizing the inherent worth of all its city’s residents – including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).
Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, said Starkville’s resolution makes it the first municipality in Mississippi to recognize the dignity of its LGBT residents. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said Starkville is sending a message to its residents that all people – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – are worthy of respect and equality.
“These are fundamental American values, and Mayor Parker Wiseman and the Starkville City Council are setting an inspiring example for their fellow lawmakers in surrounding cities and towns,” Griffin said. “While we must continue pushing for ordinances that codify these values into law across the state, the impact of this resolution on LGBT people – particularly youth – will be powerful.”
Wiseman, in a statement issued by the Human Rights Campaign, said the resolution makes it clear that Starkville is a community that “works proactively to prevent workplace discrimination before it happens.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that ‘we must learn to live together as brothers…’ I hope the equality resolution lives up to the beliefs of Dr. King and sends a message that Starkville is a city that is intolerant of discrimination against anyone and in any form.”
Public opinion on equality in Mississippi is ahead of the law in the state, according to the Human Rights Campaign. A poll conducted last summer found that nearly 60 percent of Mississippians under the age of 30 support marriage equality, while 64 percent of residents back workplace non-discrimination protections for LGBT employees, the organization said.
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