MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — More than a week after Mobile County Treasurer Phil Benson made some controversial comments, LGBTQ activists took to Mobile City Council, hoping to get support from council members.
The activists were at the council meeting, searching for answers as to how their rights could be protected at the local level.
“Progress is not a victory,” said Kimberly McKeand, an LGBTQ activist.
McKeand and several other LGBTQ activists showed up to city council, asking for ways to make sure they aren’t treated any differently than anyone else.
“Not in Mobile. We can no longer compromise our protections from discrimination, in order to satisfy those who wish to use religion and hate as a weapon for discrimination. Period. We hope that you, our City Mobile electeds will shield us from discrimination,” said McKeand.
This all comes after some of the same activists went to a Mobile County Commission meeting last week. They were motivated to have their voices heard following an offensive Facebook comment by Mobile County Treasurer, Phil Benson.
“All we wanted was for our elected officials to say we support you and we hear you,” said McKeand.
At council, several council members voiced their support after just one activist went up to the podium to speak. “You’ve got a place,” said councilman Fred Richardson.
A plan to help prevent any future discrimination, by re-instating the human rights commission.
“We want to make sure whatever we pass by way of legislation, is something that’s enforceable. Something that’s practical,” said City Council Vice President Levon Manzie.
Manzie says he wants to work together with activists and the council to find something they can enforce, and something that will have an impact.
Some relief for McKeand and the other activists.
“They met us with such love and such acceptance that it’s truly a blessing,” said McKeand.
The city council has the ability to appoint new members to the commission.
Manzie says he will ask his fellow council members to make naming people to the commission a priority.