Starkville relents

Rogelio V. Solis | Associated Press | r

There will be a Gay Pride in Starkville, Mississippi, after all. Having been turned down by the city council, a community group called Starkville Pride and two organizers filed a federal lawsuit, saying the city had denied their constitutional rights to free expression and equal protection. They asked a judge to overrule the city and immediately grant a parade permit to Starkville Pride.

Now Mayor Lynn Spruill broke a 3-3 tie to allow the parade to go forward, after an alderman who previously had opposed the parade abstained, saying the city needed to move past the dispute. Aldermen had voted 4-3 to reject the application last month.

The parade will be held on March 24.

“What happened at tonight’s meeting was a victory not only for our clients and for their equal dignity under the law, but also for the core principle that in this country, we do not restrict a person’s ability to speak based on whether or not we agree with what they have to say,” said Roberta Kaplan, lawyer for Starkville Pride and organizers Bailey McDaniel and Emily Turner.

March? Isn’t that a bit early?