WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland is now the seventh city in Mississippi to adopt an anti-discrimination resolution. The city now joins Bay St. Louis, Hattiesburg, Oxford, Starkville, Magnolia and Greenville.
"Being that Waveland is my hometown, and I grew up here, it's important to me. I hope the rest of the state will follow through, too," said John Perkins.
John and Jeff Perkins are married and live in Waveland. They say they felt comfortable there before this resolution, but it's even more comforting now to know city leaders care about the LGBT community.
"Despite things like Senate bill 2681 being passed, we know that the state may be able to discriminate against people, but some local towns have chosen not to," said Jeff White-Perkins.
Earlier this month, Bay St. Louis passed a similar resolution. Now, several business owners, like Laurianne Manchester, display "We Don't Discriminate" stickers in their windows.
"I'm hoping that all the cities pass it, because it gets us great press. Bloomberg Business News did a story on the stickers the other day. It's great to see Mississippi in the press for doing something positive," said Manchester.
While Mayor David Garcia hopes no one is being treated differently in Waveland based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation, he still wants it to be very clear that there is no tolerance for discrimination in his city.
"I feel by passing this resolution, we take a stance saying we don't look at you like that. We don't judge you. If you want to come to Waveland, you want to build in Waveland, you want to raise your family in Waveland... You're welcome to come to Waveland and we open our doors to you," said Mayor Garcia.
LGBT community members we spoke with said they hope to open a LGBT community center in Hancock County in the near future.
The full resolution adopted by Waveland city leaders read as follows:
WHEREAS, diversity is a critical component of a thriving, successful city; and,
WHEREAS, tolerance and acceptance will strengthen Waveland as a community, deepening bonds between neighbors, and fostering a welcoming environment; and,
WHEREAS, in today's world discrimination occurs far too often on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability, or source of income;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and City Council of the City of Waveland declare it the policy of the City to reject discrimination of any kind and to respect the inherent worth of every person without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability, or source of income, this the 21st day of May A.D. 2014.