Close to 3,000 people attended
Starkville, Mississippi's first LGBT Pride parade on Saturday.
In February, the city voted 4-3 to deny
a permit to the newly-formed Starkville Pride's proposed event.
Starkville Pride responded by filing a federal lawsuit against the
city claiming discrimination.
The city later reversed course,
approving a permit for the parade and related events during a March
meeting. The vote was a tie, with 1 abstention. Mayor Lynn Spruill
cast the deciding vote to allow Saturday's event.
Spruill, a vocal supporter of
Starkville Pride, told the Starkville
Daily News that she was surprised and delighted by the
“I never expected to have this many
people,” Spruill said. “Somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 people
and this would never have happened if we didn’t have the
controversy, so I’m almost grateful for the controversy in the
sense it became something more than it ever would have been and it
became something we can be very proud of, with no issues associated
According to the 2010 census,
Starkville has a population of roughly 23,000.