A gay rights activist from Biloxi has been appointed to the advisory board to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Renick Taylor said he will serve two years on the State Advisory Committee along with four members from Ole Miss, two from Jackson and one each from Clarksdale and Boyle.
Taylor said he believes he will be the first member appointed on the basis of sexual orientation.
"Always before it's focused on minorities," he said. "(President Barack) Obama had said from the beginning of his second term that gay rights are civil rights, so when I heard there would be openings on the committee, I applied and I got it."
The first meeting will be sometime in April but he said that anyone who knows of possible civil rights violations can call him at 228-388-5852
"The commission is really the watchdog on civil rights and it relies on these advisory groups to help identify things that need to be investigated," Taylor said.