The Starkville Daily News reports:
Close to 3,000 people flooded downtown Starkville on Saturday for the first LGBTQ Pride parade in the city’s history. After grabbing national attention, the grassroots group Starkville Pride was allowed to move forward with its parade despite initially being voted down by the city’s Board of Aldermen in late February.
The group took legal action following the city’s decision to deny the event request, and after a tense few weeks, Mayor Lynn Spruill served as the tie-breaking vote to approve the event request. Spruill has been a vocal supporter of the group and praised the turnout made possible by the high level of attention brought to the situation.
“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 with it.”
Starkville, population 23,000, is home to Mississippi State.
— Logan Kirkland (@CaptainKirk_) March 24, 2018
— Starkville Daily (@StarkvilleDaily) March 24, 2018
How about a great rainbow 🌈 cowbell. pic.twitter.com/9iuVibGhpc
— Lynn Spruill (@lynn_spruill) March 24, 2018