Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Starkville Mississippi Equality Resolution Supports LGBT Residents

I like to say that every LGBT person needs to come out in order to strengthen our resolve towards equality, to show the world that we are no different than anyone else, except in who we love. It’s a small step, one person coming out to family and friends and co-workers, but it can help change the minds of the intolerant, because intolerance really is a lack of education, a lack of understanding.

And so, like every gay person coming out, I think that every little town or hamlet of burg or ‘ville, needs to be vocally welcoming and inclusive of the LGBT community, too. It’s easy for the bigger towns and cities to be inclusive, to have non-discrimination policies, but it’s the small towns that will make the difference, and soon we just might have more cities and towns that have LGBT anti-discrimination policies, and then we might have entire states following suit, and perhaps even an entire country dedicated to non-discrimination.

As my BFF Martha Stewart likes to say, “It’s a good thing.”

Take the city of Starkville, in Mississippi, of all places, for example. Last week, the Starkville City Council passed a resolution to support diversity in all forms, including sexual orientation. Sounds like not so much of a big deal, but according to Human Rights Campaign [HRC] President Chad Griffin, it's the first time any municipality in Mississippi has recognized the dignity of its LGBT residents:
"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. 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."
Starkville's Resolution Supporting Equality states 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."
"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."— Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman
Starkville's "Resolution Supporting Equality" reads as follows:
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.
This is Mississippi, y’all; and a small town in Mississippi to boot. And if the mayor of Starkville, and the people of Starkville, can declare their acknowledgment and acceptance of LGBT people, then there is hope that other towns will follow along.

The march goes on ….

2 comments:

the dogs' mother said...

Hope the giant snowstorm skipped them :-)

Ron said...

Bob,
Small steps lead to a completed journey.
Ron