MISSISSIPPI: Small Town Overrides Mayor’s Veto, Repeals LGBT Protections

Via the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

Aldermen in Starkville have overridden a mayor’s veto of their decision to rescind a resolution passed in 2014 that made it clear that the city is intolerant of discrimination against the LGBT community. 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 reacts:

“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. 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. Mayor Parker Wiseman showed tremendous leadership, courage and confidence to represent all residents of Starkville, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT people are our friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members, and we must ensure all people are welcomed within their communities.”

Starkville was the first Mississippi town to approve LGBT protections. Since then several other municipalities have done so, including Jackson, the state capital.