State and Local Legal Blog

I am a David Blount fan | February 28, 2014

There is a lot of hoopla going on about SB 2681.  If you believe the “news bite” this bill added “In God We Trust” to our state seal.  But the bill did much more, including possibly opening the way for businesses and governmental entities to discriminate on legal grounds, particularly against the GLBT community.

This comes on the heels of Starkville, Mississippi, the home of Mississippi State University, adopting a resolution which would add “gender and gender identification issues” to the list of characteristics that the City of Starkville will not discriminate upon in making employment or appointment choices.  Starkville was the first city to take that step; it has been followed by Hattiesburg, home of the University of Southern Mississippi.  (Unfortunately, the same week someone in Oxford, home of the University of Mississippi — Ole Miss — put an actual noose around the neck of the large James Meredith statute on campus.)

So now you are asking why I am a David Blount fan. Here’s why:  Senator Blount had the character and self-actualization to come out in public and suggest that our legislators (including himself) may not read everything as carefully as they should before they cast that ballot.  He is working with the Mississippi House committee to jettison that language before the House votes.  The House subcommittee to which it was assigned has done so.  It now goes to the larger committee for consideration.  The Judiciary B committee is chaired by the moving force behind recent gun legislation, Representative Andy Gipson, who has a conservative voting record.  Blake Wilson, executive director of the Mississippi Economic Council, gave praise and credit to Representative Joey Hood and Gipson for working hard to resolve this issue in a positive way.  (Wilson’s son, Nicholas, is an employee of the Stennis Institute of Government at MSU.)

If David Blount had not stepped forward, this language may not have been noticed to be rectified before it was challenged.  It takes a big man to say he’s not doing the job as well as he should.  I think all Mississippians owe him a debt of thanks.

Blount knows what Bill Clinton didn’t realize.  Step up, admit the mistake, say you’re sorry, find ways to rectify it, do better next time around.

(Interestingly, and almost as a sideline, Alderman Ben Carver, who is a conservative Christian member of the Starkville Board, attempted to wiggle out of his affirmative vote on the gender and gender identification resolution by talking about “family values” at the very next meeting. His suggestion that the Board reconsider the implications of the resolution to family values seems to have fallen on deaf ears, but considering the makeup of the Board, an attempt to finagle out of such a resolution may come again.)

So, in closing:  THANK YOU SENATOR DAVID BLOUNT.  I am a fan!

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Posted in Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Well said, Lydia!

    Comment by Claudia Brind Woody — February 28, 2014 @ 10:34 am


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