Love is love, no matter who it is

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Love is love, no matter who it is

Savannah Munn, Staff

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It’s no secret we live in a conservative state. Mississippi clings to its traditional, southern, religion-based values like a lifeline, and in many cases, these values keep us close and form the foundation of who we are. However, sometimes these values hinder the progression of change. Recently, a request to hold a parade in honor of the LGBT+ community was presented to the Board of Alderman and shut down. The Board of Alderman has not denied a parade permit to any application since 2014 unless the application was incomplete or filled out incorrectly. This shows evident bias on the case of the board members, who voted 4-3. Because of this, there was a motion to sue the city before the board regrouped and approved the parade. No board member changed their previous vote, but one member abstained from voting which allowed Mayor Lynn Spruill to break the 3-3 tie in favor of the parade.

This is not the first time Starkville has wronged the gay community. Starkville was the first city in Mississippi to introduce an anti-discrimination resolution concerning sexual identity and orientation, but it repealed this policy after receiving serious pressure from religious leaders and local religious groups.

This parade is important for many reasons. Same-sex marriage is now legal throughout all fifty states, and there are many anti-discrimination laws in place, federal and local. But despite these legal victories, there is still a social stigma on those who come out to the public, especially in the rural south. Being queer is seen as wrong, weird, and condemning. An event like this parade can help break those barriers down and allow members of the LGBT+ community to feel accepted, celebrated, and validated, an opportunity that rarely presents itself to them.

One spokesperson said having this parade would turn Starkville “into a sin city” and pleaded that it not take place. In the Bible, 1 Peter 4:8 states,“Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” And that’s all the members of the LGBT+ community want. They want to love freely and deeply who they choose. Love is not dangerous, and it’s not a sin.