Starkville denies city's first Pride parade despite support from - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Starkville denies city's first Pride parade despite support from locals

The Board heard public comment on the parade with 16 people speaking in favor and only 2 opposing it. Source: Wikicommons The Board heard public comment on the parade with 16 people speaking in favor and only 2 opposing it. Source: Wikicommons
STARKVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The request to plan a parade by the LGBT group, Starkville Pride, was denied by Aldermen in Starkville Wednesday night.

The group was hoping to hold the parade on March 24. According to WCBI in Columbus, Starkville Pride, a Mississippi State University campus organization representing members of the LGBTQ Community, had applied for a permit for a Pride Parade in Starkville.

The permit was originally on the Board’s Consent Agenda, which is normally passed as a single item, and usually on a unanimous vote. Two Aldermen moved to remove it from the Consent Agenda and bring it up as a separate item.

The Board heard public comment on the parade with 16 people speaking in favor and only 2 opposing it, but the vote was met 4 to 3 to deny the permit by the city's Aldermen.

But the organization says they aren't done yet and they plan to sue the city. 

The ACLU of Mississippi released this statement on the denial of the request:

“The ACLU of Mississippi calls upon the city of Starkville to act swiftly in approving a request from a grassroots group planning to host the city’s first Pride Parade on March 24. The Starkville Board of Aldermen’s recent denial of the request potentially violates the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“The government cannot prevent a parade or event simply because it promotes LGBTQ pride or because its organizers and marchers are LGBTQ. In addition, the government cannot treat people unequally because they are LGBTQ. This is exactly what the Board of Alderman did, and that is discrimination, plain and simple. It also violates the Constitution.

“It is disappointing and disturbing that the Starkville Board of Alderman would decide to treat LGBTQ people differently from everyone else. The ACLU of Mississippi, therefore, urges the Starkville Board of Alderman to reconsider their decision and approve the request.”

The Democratic Party of Mississippi commented on the controversial issue Thursday, saying: 

In the history of our state there is already more than our fair share of discrimination and division.  The Mississippi Democratic Party continues in its commitment to support all forms of equality regardless of race, color, class, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, population, national origin, immigrant status, disability, or appearance.  

The actions taken by the Starkville Board of Alderman are disappointing to see, but we must not let these actions prevent us from moving forward on the path towards justice and equality for all.  

We support Starkville Pride, and encourage others to be supportive as well.  If you would like to support financially and you are able please contribute to the cause here:  https://www.gofundme.com/starkvillepride
 

Others on social media are also expressing disappointment over the decision: 

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