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Mississippi town will reconsider rejection of LGBT pride parade following federal lawsuit

A Mississippi town will reconsider its denial of an LGBT group's request to hold a Pride Parade later this month following a federal lawsuit and outcry over the previous decision. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

A Mississippi town will reconsider its denial of an LGBT group's request to hold a Pride Parade later this month following a federal lawsuit over the previous decision.

The Starkville Board of Aldermen will take another look at the special event request from Starkville Pride to hold a March 24 parade during its Tuesday meeting, the Starkville Daily News reported.

Starkville Pride filed a federal lawsuit against the city last Monday after the board denied LGBT group's request, the paper said.

Who asked for the reconsideration?

Alderman Sandra Sistrunk told the Daily News she asked for the reconsideration "because we now know what a lawsuit against us looks like, and we have other additional information that needs to be considered in that vote."

Sistrunk told the paper that additional information includes a clearer picture of the city's "legal risk" and "financial exposure."

What are the chances the decision will be overturned?

Sistrunk told the Daily News that some votes may change but anything can happen.

"Do I think it's a strong possibility? Not necessarily, but I think it's our responsibility to at least make the effort," she told the paper. "I hope that we get to another vote, and I hope that people will look at this in the context of their legislative responsibilities and their duties ..."

Mayor Lynn Spruill added to the Daily News that she's unsure if the aldermen who voted in favor of the denial will change their stances.

"This means the board has a chance to change its mind. The board has a chance to alter the results of the last vote," the mayor told the paper. "They have a chance to rethink it and determine if their vote is still the one that they want to be representative of the city."

What do other aldermen have to say?

Aldermen Ben Carver, David Little, Roy Perkins — who is also vice mayor — and Henry Vaughn all voted to deny the parade request, the Daily News said, but none of them could be reached for comment.

The denial passed by a 4-3 vote, WCBI-TV reported.

What does the LBGT group have to say?

“While we are obviously disappointed that the Board of Aldermen did not grant our clients’ application the first time around, we are hopeful that the Board will use this opportunity to do the right thing—and follow the Constitution,” Starkville Pride's attorney Roberta A. Kaplan said in a press release Friday afternoon, the paper reported.

Starkville Pride public relations officer Emily Turner told the Daily News that members will be attending Tuesday's meeting.

"We hope the board does the right thing," Turner added to the paper.

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