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Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Officially Recognize the Dignity of Its LGBT Citizens

Starkville, Mississippi passed a resolution on Tuesday stating that "discrimination against a person on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, veteran's status, disability, or source of income to be anathema to the public policy of the City."

StarkvilleThe resolution is not binding, but it is historic.

It's the first time a municipality in Mississippi has ever officially recognized the dignity of its LGBT residents, according to HRC's Chad Griffin.

WLOX reports:

"The city of Starkville, Mississippi is sending a message to its residents that all people – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – are worthy of respect and equality," Griffin said in a statement. "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 called for a continued push "for ordinances that codify these values into law across the state, the impact of this resolution on LGBT people – particularly youth – will be powerful."

Said Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman: "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."

Read the full text of Starkville's resolution, AFTER THE JUMP...

WHEREAS , the City of Starkville believes that diversity is a critical component of a thriving, successful city and that a commitment to diversity strengthens communities, deepens bonds between neighbors, and underlies the welcoming environment that makes Starkville a wonderful place to live and work;

WHEREAS , the City of Starkville believes that diversity supports economic competitiveness and facilitates job growth;

WHEREAS , the City of Starkville believes that discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, veteran's status, disability, and source of income continues to occur in our world today;

WE HEREBY RESOLVE:

RESOLVED : The City of Starkville declares it the public policy of the City to respect the inherent worth of every person, without regard to a person's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, veteran's status, disability, or source of income; and

RESOLVED : the City of Starkville further resolves that discrimination against a person on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, veteran's status, disability, or source of income to be anathema to the public policy of the City

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Comments

  1. Mississippi? Was afraid that it would be one of the last states. Now if this is any example it looks like Mississippi may well be leading the NEW south in well justified self respect and equality. Congratulations Mississippi . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 22, 2014 9:13:41 AM


  2. I wouldn't count on it lasting. I can see the local bible beaters forcing it to be changed.

    Posted by: RayJacksonMS2 | Jan 22, 2014 9:36:04 AM


  3. My sister lives there! Awww, yay Starkville!

    Posted by: Lucas H | Jan 22, 2014 9:37:41 AM


  4. has hell frozen over

    Posted by: capetom | Jan 22, 2014 9:55:22 AM


  5. Considering this is Mississippi, this is a wonderful gesture. For LGBT Starkville residents, they can hold their heads up high knowing they belong and are cared about. It's not much but it's something and when you're living in Mississippi and you're gay, you need things like this to hold on to.

    Posted by: Francis | Jan 22, 2014 9:57:27 AM


  6. While I'm happy that a southern city has made this resolution and law, I feel I can see the next step: "... intolerant of discrimination against anyone and in any form" simply begs for claims of "reverse intolerance" where straight citizens pretend to see intolerance enacted toward themselves, e.g. in small business owners required to "deny" their religious values by serving LGBT or other customers of whom they disapprove.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Jan 22, 2014 10:10:47 AM


  7. I lived in Starkville for 12 years. It is also the home of Mississippi State University.
    Maybe that has something to do with it.

    Posted by: Josh | Jan 22, 2014 10:43:09 AM


  8. This made me cry...

    Posted by: Beautiful | Jan 22, 2014 11:51:53 AM


  9. It is non-binding so no force of law however it is a step and I highly suspect the presence of a college has broadened the collective minds of the residents. When I returned to my VERY Republican college in ,
    Mid-Missouri I saw one of the gay safe zones. Btw there was a time in the 70's when I was almost expelled for a single episode of homosexual activity (btw both of us were of age). So there are little points of tolerance in the most unlikely places in the red states

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 22, 2014 11:55:54 AM


  10. It's for grant money plain and simple. The same board fired a lady for being a lesbian just a few months ago. I doubt they even read this or know what LGBT stands for.

    Posted by: StarkvegasResident | Jan 22, 2014 12:42:06 PM


  11. Starkville is the home of Miss. State Univ. I would imagine the level of education is higher here than your typical Miss. town, hence this enlightened approach.

    Posted by: John | Jan 22, 2014 9:30:30 PM


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