Starkville becomes first Miss. city to extend domestic partner b

Starkville becomes first Miss. city to extend domestic partner benefits to LGBT city workers

STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) -

Starkville is the first city in Mississippi to grant domestic partner benefits for LGBT city workers.

Today the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization,commended the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for acknowledging the dignity andworth of LGBT citizens in Starkville.

"LovingLGBT couples should have equal access to medical care, and we applaud the Mayorand the Board of Aldermen for their leadership on this critical issue," saidHRC Mississippi Director Rob Hill.  "This measure successfully providesthe necessary benefits that the partners of hardworking LGBT city workersdeserve, and the city of Starkville demonstrated its commitment to upholdingthe Golden Rule by treating them with dignity and respect."

The itempassed by a unanimous 7-0 vote Tuesday night. 

Mayor ParkerWiseman also announced plans this week to appoint two LGBT liaisons to support the needsof and provide resources to the LGBT community. This includes working with thecity's police department.  

Earlier this year, Starkville was also thefirst city in the state to pass a resolution welcoming LGBTpeople and their families.  

The resolution recognizes all citizens shouldbe treated with respect and equality.  

According to a study done by HRC in 2014, 57 percent of LGBT peoplesurveyed have called Mississippi home for more than 20 years, however, almosthalf have experienced harassment in a public establishment; 41 percent of thoseearning less than $45,000 have experienced at work; and roughly a quarter haveexperienced harassment from a public servant like a police officer orfirefighter.

HRC Mississippi says it is working across the state to changehearts and minds, advance enduring legal protections, and build more inclusiveinstitutions from the workplace to the church pew.

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