After denying a Mississippi LGBTQ organization a Pride parade permit, city leaders reversed the decision with a new vote

Published 7:44 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Starkville city leaders will allow a local LGBTQ organization to hold a Pride parade, reversing an initial vote denying the permit request that made national headlines and resulted in a federal lawsuit against the city.

In a 3-3 vote with Mayor Lynn Spruill casting the tie-breaker, the Associated Press reports, the Board of Aldermen revisited Starkville Pride’s parade request Tuesday night after weeks of controversy surrounding the board’s initial 4-3 vote.

Following the board’s initial denial, Starkville Pride filed a federal lawsuit against the city claiming violation of their constitutional rights. Concern rose regarding how the city would handle the resulting legal fees, particularly after Spruill told The Columbus Dispatch it would likely come out of taxpayer funds.

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The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement in response to the board’s reversal shortly after Tuesday’s meeting:

“After the Starkville Board of Aldermen shamefully denied a permit for a Pride parade, the community rallied around Starkville Pride and pushed the city to do the right thing and allow the LGBTQ community to peaceably assemble and celebrate Pride in their own community,” said Rob Hill, HRC Mississippi state director. “HRC has been proud to work alongside Starkville Pride and community leaders to make this parade a reality, and we look forward to a successful Pride celebration in a few short weeks.”