Gay pride parade held in town that initially denied permit

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STARKVILLE, Miss. — Thousands of people have marched peacefully in the first-ever gay pride parade in a Mississippi city where officials had tried to block the event.

It happened Saturday in Starkville, weeks after the city council initially denied a parade permit. The council later reversed its decision.

Mayor Lynn Spruill tells The Associated Press about 2,500 people marched, without incident.

Video on the Starkville Daily News website showed people with rainbow balloons. Some roller skated. Several walked with their dogs behind a sign saying, “Unleash Pride.”

The video showed a protester with a sign calling homosexuality an “abomination.”

Starkville is home to Mississippi State University, a land-grant school where fans ring cowbells at athletic events. A photo on the mayor’s Twitter account showed a cowbell covered in tape forming a rainbow pattern.

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