City leaders in a Mississippi college town voted to allow their first gay pride parade on Tuesday, reversing a previous denial after a federal lawsuit was filed by gay rights activists.
Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill broke a 3-3 tie on Tuesday to approve the parade, according to The Associated Press.
Alderwoman Sandra Sistrunk said leaders couldn’t treat the application for the city’s first gay pride parade differently from any other applications the city board approves.
“I think we’re in a position where we can make a more measured and reasoned vote tonight,” Sistrunk said. “This has been a bit of a growing pain for the city of Starkville.”
Bailey McDaniel, organizer for Starkville Pride, said that the application was submitted perfectly and there was no reason it was originally denied in February.
Starkville Pride and two organizers filed a federal lawsuit, alleging the city denied them their constitutional right to free expression and equal protection, AP reported.
The city, which is where Mississippi State University is located, will hold the parade on March 24.