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Mississippi LGBTI group will sue the city that denied them a pride parade

Mississippi LGBTI group will sue the city that denied them a pride parade

Three women stand in front of bakery, the middle one is holding up a box of cupcakes there is a rainbow flag in the window behind them

A Mississippi LGBTI community group has filed a federal lawsuit against the city that denied them a permit to hold a pride parade.

The Board of Aldermen in the city of Starkville last week voted 4-3 to deny Starkville Pride a parade permit.

This was even though Starkville Pride had the support of business owners, students and locals to host the parade.

So today (26 February), Starkville Pride launched the federal court action. It said the parade ban was ‘a textbook violation of the First Amendment and its discriminatory treatment, based solely on LGBT-related animus’. It said that discriminatory treatment ‘violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause’.

‘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.’

Parade organizers said the city had not rejected any similar permits from 2014 – 2018 until this one.

They got Edie Windsor’s lawyers

Renowend civil rights lawyer, Roberta A Kaplan, will represent Starkville Pride in its cases.

Kaplan represented LGBTI icon, Edie Windsor, in her fight to overturn Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to make sure same-sex couples were no excluded from federal benefits.

‘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,’ Kaplan said.

‘We are confident that the federal court will reverse this unconstitutional action and allow the parade to proceed as planned.’