Starkville becomes first Miss. city to extend domestic partner b - - The News for South Mississippi

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

STARKVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

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 and worth of LGBT citizens in Starkville.

"Loving LGBT couples should have equal access to medical care, and we applaud the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen for their leadership on this critical issue," said HRC Mississippi Director Rob Hill.  "This measure successfully provides the necessary benefits that the partners of hardworking LGBT city workers deserve, and the city of Starkville demonstrated its commitment to upholding the Golden Rule by treating them with dignity and respect."

The item passed by a unanimous 7-0 vote Tuesday night. 

Mayor Parker Wiseman also announced plans this week to appoint two LGBT liaisons to support the needs of and provide resources to the LGBT community. This includes working with the city's police department.  

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

The resolution recognizes all citizens should be treated with respect and equality.  

According to a study done by HRC in 2014, 57 percent of LGBT people surveyed have called Mississippi home for more than 20 years, however, almost half have experienced harassment in a public establishment; 41 percent of those earning less than $45,000 have experienced at work; and roughly a quarter have experienced harassment from a public servant like a police officer or firefighter.

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

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