STARKVILLE, Miss. – The mayor of Starkville, Parker Wiseman, vetoed a decision by aldermen to repeal the city’s equality resolution, Thursday. Alderman repealed the policy behind closed doors Tuesday without public discussion or warning according to the Commercial Dispatch. The board also repealed the city’s plus-one insurance option which allowed city workers to have their mother, girlfriend, or same-sex partner on their insurance, instead of just a spouse. The mayor vetoed that decision as well.
“I think it sends an awful message about from our city, both to the outside world and most importantly to our citizens and city workers here that look to the elected leadership to set a tone for the city. I can’t image why someone would think it was a good idea to roll back an anti-discrimination statement,” said Mayor Parker Wiseman.
The anti-discrimination policy went into effect last year after Starkville aldermen unanimously voted in favor of it. The city also became the first city in Mississippi to pass an equality resolution denouncing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Since, other cities including Hattiesburg, Jackson, and Oxford followed through with similar polices.
Aldermen will still be able to overturn the mayor’s veto with a 5-2 vote.