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A group in Mississippi wanted a pride parade but their city said no

Written by gaytourism

People all over the world enjoy pride parades, such as in Canada and beyond. | Photo: Flickr/GoToVan

In the northeast corner of Mississippi, there’s a city called Starkville. Locals gathered on Tuesday (20 February) in support of the city’s first pride parade.

However, Board of Aldermen voted 4-3 and denied the request.

‘We’re asking you to join us,’ organizer Bailey McDaniel implored during the meeting.

16 people spoke in total, advocating for the parade and seeking city participation. Mississippi State University students, university staff, Starkville business owners, and other locals spoke in favor.

Only two spoke against the parade — a local resident and a pastor.

One of the people who supported the parade, Kevin Williams, asked the city to be on the right side of history. He brought up similar discrimination against African-Americans in the past and that it should not be that way for others.

He finished: ‘Now, ask yourself this question. What are you afraid of?’

‘To them, we don’t matter’

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill supported the day.

‘We are diverse, we are not divided in my opinion and I don’t want to start having that view of us now,’ she said prior to the vote. After, she commented she was ‘extremely disappointed’.

None of the board members who voted to deny the request provided a comment.

McDaniel cried when the vote came through. ‘All I can say is that this isn’t the last they will hear from us specifically about this issue,’ she said. The next steps include contacting the ACLU, The Human Rights Campaign, and the Southern Poverty Law Center over the vote.

What the vote told McDaniel was that to certain board members, ‘we don’t matter’.

Rob Hill, the Mississippi State Director of the HRC, released a statement.

‘Twice now Starkville has shown it is not supportive of its LGBTQ residents, and the LGBTQ community will not forget. It’s disappointing that the Starkville Board of Aldermen would deny LGBTQ people in Starkville the chance to celebrate Pride in their own city.’

H/t: Starkville Daily News

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