Gay pride parade organizers sue Mississippi city over denial

JACKSON, Miss. — Two women are suing a Mississippi college town over its denial of a permit for a gay pride parade.

Mississippi State University students Bailey McDaniel and Emily Turner filed the federal lawsuit Monday against the city of Starkville.

City aldermen voted 4-3 last week to deny the permit for Starkville Pride, which sought to hold the city’s first-ever gay pride parade during a larger set of events.

McDaniel and Turner say in their suit, filed in Aberdeen, Mississippi, that Starkville is denying their First Amendment constitutional right to free expression. They want a judge to immediately order the city to grant a permit.

The four aldermen have refused to explain their decision, although one told a local newspaper his constituents agreed with the move.

Mayor Lynn Spruill, who supported the parade but doesn’t vote on the Board of Aldermen, says the city will study the lawsuit and then respond.

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