Organizers of a proposed Pride parade in Starkville, Miss., were distraught after the town's aldermen denied them a permit and then left the city council meeting through a back door, according to the Associated Press.
The aldermen voted 4-3 to deny Starkville Pride a permit for a planned March parade. No explanation was given for the denial, leaving organizers angry and others in tears.
"It's unfortunate that you go through the process, you do everything you're supposed to do and you get denied, really without any explanation as to why," said Alderman Jason Walker, who voted to approve the permit.
A college town, Starkville is home to Mississippi State University. Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill blasted the aldermen's decision, saying it sent a message that Starkville is not "inclusive."
Residents seemed to support the parade, with 16 people speaking for it and two against. One dissenter said a Pride parade would turn Starkville into "a Sin City."