Mississippi: Starkville Repeals LGBT Protections

Mississippi: Starkville Repeals LGBT Protections

LGBT protections passed to aid LGBT couples have been repealed by the city after the mayor tried to salvage the resolution:

The resolution implemented a plus-one insurance option, which allowed Starkville city employees to add a domestic partner to their city-provided insurance regardless of gender or relationship status. After initially passing the resolution in 2014, the board of aldermen voted to rescind the resolution in a closed-door executive session Jan. 6.

Mayor Parker Wiseman, who previously supported the resolution, vetoed the Jan. 6 vote. The override required five votes from the board Tuesday, but the effort fell one vote short after the 4-2 vote.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-advocating organization, issued a statement after Tuesday’s vote.

“Though upsetting and disappointing, the board’s vote tells us that we must do more community engagement to show the leaders of Starkville that equality is important to move the city forward,” the statement read. “Fairness and inclusion is critical to attracting new business to Starkville, diverse students to Mississippi State and quality workers to join the city’s workforce.”

Starkville became the first Mississippi city to denounce discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression when the board unanimously passed an updated non-discrimination policy in January 2014.

Other cities, including Hattiesburg, Oxford and Jackson, followed suit throughout the year.