Is It Red Tape Or Homophobia That Killed A Mississippi Gay March?

A small gay march of 50 or so LGBT protesters was a no-go yesterday in Jackson, the capital of Mississippi.

Says, which is biased toward the side of the protestors:

Despite having applied for a permit for a march in the city to highlight LGBT discrimination, organizers were informed shortly before the event that their permit had been denied and they had no right to rally in the city.

The primary organizer of the march, Bob Gilchrist, had organized the event on Facebook, and was expecting a large crowd for the march. The permit was denied even though event organizers were finalizing details to secure required liability insurance. When informed by police that the permit had been denied, those assembled for the march quickly changed plans under the threat of arrest if they were to proceed.

But according to the Clarion-Ledger, who spoke with the authorities, police were not uncooperative:

Sgt. James McGowan said Gilchrist failed to secure liability insurance or any documentation to release the city from liability.

“We tried to work with them as much as we could,” McGowan said.

If the proper permit procedure had been completed, “we would have given them an escort to the Capitol,” he said.

Well, there’s a game of chicken-and-egg (protester-and-police?) if we ever saw one. In any case, tiny little gay marches and gay commitment ceremonies on state grounds: hard to do in Mississippi.

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  • Anna Davis

    Not that hard to put on a march or protest in Mississippi, I’ve organized a few in my time and attended even more.

  • Hyhybt

    *IF* all similar events are denied unless they are insured (and if the insurance wasn’t itself delayed or denied unfairly) then I don’t see any problem here. Well, the usual one of insurance companies being… well, the way they are, but other than that.

    And if there were anything to suggest other motivation for the denial, surely Queerty would have mentioned it, rather than just implying there might be.

  • the crustybastard

    My copy of the Constitution is missing the First Amendment’s Liability Insurance Clause.

    Must be an old copy.

  • the crustybastard

    Mississippi’s position is that it’s perfectly sensible for the government to require people to purchase insurance coverage as a condition of exercising their First Amendment right to assemble and protest…

    And it’s entirely sensible for the government to require people to purchase insurance coverage to operate a motor vehicle on the streets…

    But it’s onerous and outrageous for the government to require people to purchase medical insurance…because “Obamacare”?

    (Mississippi. Consistently rated #50 in education — for a reason.™)

  • Dune

    “Is It Red Tape Or Homophobia That Killed A Mississippi Gay March?”

    It was BOTH. They used weak red tape to allow their homophobia.

  • Curtis

    Silly Evan, Red tape IS homophobia, (in this case).

  • Curtis

    And like with (gay) marriage. Same concept: “red tape” that is purposefully implemented to try and stop us.

  • Kev C

    The protestors should “gay up” Mississippi as much as possible. Turn that state into a rainbow-colored eyesore. Plant rainbow flags at the police station, and send tiny flags to elected officials.

  • Cam

    So this is a state where a public school moved it’s entire prom and kept it a secret just so one gay girl couldn’t go.

    So lets just say I’m skeptical.

  • JD

    Why not buy insurance as required by law of ALL people and plan the rally again? Sounds like somebody didn’t get the insurance requirement completed in time on purpose. That way Mississippi could be painted as anti gay. Who was in charge and what was his reason for not taking care of insurance before the rally?

  • Cam


    Yeah, and reading tests administered in Mississippi before they used to let people vote were reasonable. (Eye Roll)

  • Mississippi Sissy

    Fact: Young organizers did not complete the permit process.
    Fact: Young organizers did not plan to acquire permits until attendees voiced their concerns.
    Fact: Permits are required throughout the US for “organized” marches and parades.
    Fact: Insurance is generally required for “organized” marches and parades (even in California and New York).
    Fact: Police never mentioned orientation when stopping the march.
    Fact: Several people DID march to the Capitol with the police’s acknowledgement without conflict.
    Fact: JPD showed up with their usual parade/march caravan including two motorcycles and 4-6 cars. This is their standard for escorting smaller marches not confronting a potential riot or dangerous situation. They actually showed up to escort not shut down.
    Fact: The ACLU of Mississippi and local LGBT organizations have researched this incident and found no evidence to suggest homophobia was at play.
    Fact: Jackson Police have secured and escorted many LGBT events in the past with no issue.

Comments are closed.