Aldermen overturn previous ruling, allow Starkville Pride to hol - - Jackson, MS

Aldermen overturn previous ruling, allow Starkville Pride to hold parade

Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives

The Starkville Board of Alderman voted to allow Starkville Pride to hold a Pride Parade, overturning a previous ruling.

The vote passed 3-3 with 1 abstention. Mayor Spruill was forced to break the tie.

Ward 3 Alderman, David Little, chose to abstain, while Perkins, Vaughn and Carver voted against.

Aldermen Sandra Sistrunk, Jason Walker and Patrick Miller voted in favor of the parade.

The Board met to discuss allowing the parade on March 24 after a lawsuit was filed last week.

The case, Starkville Pride et. al. v. City of Starkville, was filed February 26 in United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Eastern Division. The federal lawsuit was filed after the city denied the group the parade permit after the Board of Aldermen voted 4 to 3 against it.

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

Despite the vote, the parade has garnered widespread support by locals. According to the attorneys representing the organization, there are no apparent logistics, security or cost concerns.

Starkville Pride is being represented by Roberta A. Kaplan, the renowned civil rights attorney and founding partner of Kaplan & Company, LLP, who successfully represented Edie Windsor before the United States Supreme Court.

“Based solely on the content of their speech, specifically the fact that they take pride in being gay, these students are being denied their right to speak in a public forum,” said Kaplan. “We are confident that the federal court will reverse this unconstitutional action and allow the parade to proceed as planned.”

The initiative was led by Mississippi State University students Bailey McDaniel and Emily Turner.

“We wanted to have a day of celebration and inclusiveness,” said Bailey McDaniel, President of Starkville Pride. “Without explanation or warning, a whole community of people have been denied their constitutional rights. We would like to believe that this type of hateful, intolerant behavior does not represent the Starkville community and we hope that the decision will be reversed.”

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