February 22, 2018 11:41:41 AM
Disagrees with alderman's vote
Editor's note: The following letter was sent to Starkville's Ward 3 alderman David Little. The Dispatch was copied on that letter by Mr. Stevens.
On Tuesday, February 20, you voted to deny Starkville Pride's request to hold a Pride Parade. You made the wrong decision.
When the Board of Aldermen was debating whether to deny the parade request, you made no comment. When asked about your vote after the meeting, you made no comment. The natural conclusion is that you made your decision based solely on the subject matter of the proposed parade.
As a faculty member at Mississippi State University, my students can rely on me not to discriminate against them based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity. Not only is nondiscrimination the right thing to do, but it's part of official university policy. I'm ashamed that my students cannot depend on their own elected officials to uphold the same values.
I'm not going to speculate about the legal ramifications of your vote. Instead, I'm writing to tell you that this constituent disagrees with you. I want an alderman who is proud of our students. I want an alderman who recognizes the history of discrimination and disenfranchisement that our LGBTQ siblings have faced. I want an alderman who actively works to bend the arc of history toward -- not from -- justice.
You made the wrong decision. Ward 3 deserves better. Starkville deserves better. And we will remember.
Dr. Andrew W. Stevens