Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Stark(ville) Truth

On Tuesday the city of Starkville, Miss., passed the following resolution:  "The City of Starkville declares it the public policy to respect the inherent worth of every person, without regard to a person's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, age marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, veteran's status, disability or source of income."

In case your eyes glossed over the list, I want to make sure you realize that it included sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.  I also want to make sure you realize that Starkville is in Mississippi.

I also want to make sure you close your mouth.  I know you're shocked, but slack-jawed isn't a good look for anyone.

Starkville is the first Mississippi municipality to pass such a resolution, according to the HRC.  A resolution, as far as I know, doesn't have legal teeth, but it does send a message of inclusion to LGBT folks.

Is the day coming when it will no longer be possible to make assumptions about Americans' beliefs based on the states they come from?  Will red and blue states turn mauve?  I mean, Utah and Oklahoma are grappling with marriage equality, and Shreveport, La., banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  What's the world coming to?

As a lesbian and as a person with a conscience, I'm overjoyed to see these changes.  As a humor writer, I'm being put on notice that it's getting harder and harder to take casual swipes at a whole region.  Yay and dammit.