Birmingham Mayor Says He Will Not Stop Gay Pride Parade

Birmingham News: Mayor Larry Langford said today he will not interfere with plans for a gay pride parade next month on Southside, but he still refuses to sign a proclamation or allow banners on city property.

Langford spoke with state Rep. Patricia Todd and clarified his position on the parade. The 20th Gay Pride Parade, sponsored by Central Alabama Pride, will be June 7 in Five Points South.

“We don’t agree on everything, but I still want to maintain a relationship and have an open dialog with him,” Todd said. Langford on Friday he would not sign a proclamation, allow banners on city property or sign a parade permit. The mayor said he rejected those requests because it was inappropriate for government to endorse a lifestyle.

Today Langford said he will not block the police from issuing the parade permit. That permit is not normally signed by the mayor.

Previous mayors have quietly signed the proclamation and allowed the banners.

“I thought I had stated my position very clearly. If I were to sign the permit to put up banners on city right of ways I would be condoning that which I don’t condone,” he said. “To give a proclamation is totally under the purview of the mayor.”

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