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Copenhaver asks legal advice on gay pride parade

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Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver is seeking advice from the city Law Department before making a decision on a gay pride parade planned June 19.

Alejandro Wade-Coronado, vice president of Augusta Pride, submitted a request to the city last week for permission to parade on Broad Street between Sixth and 10th streets, and on 10th Street from Broad to Reynolds. Wade-Coronado has a contract with Recreation & Parks to rent the Augusta Common and the Jessye Norman Amphitheater on that date, the latter for a concert with Grammy-winning R&B singer Thelma Houston and Frenchie Davis of American Idol.

The parade needs approval from four offices, according to Traffic Engineering Technician Dennis Ellis. The sheriff's office, the fire department and Recreation & Parks have already signed off, with only the mayor's decision still pending.

"As this is a First Amendment issue," Copenhaver said in an e-mail today, "and in order to make certain the City adheres to the letter of the law in the process, I have requested a legal opinion regarding the permit from our law department. I'm hopeful we will have that opinion today and we will act accordingly in moving forward."

Augusta hasn't had a major gay pride event since the 1990s.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225

or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com

Comments (110) Add comment
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Notreally
4
Points
Notreally 02/16/10 - 04:49 pm
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0
The KKK will be next in line

The KKK will be next in line seeking a permit. Ooopz.

buddha_jon
0
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buddha_jon 02/16/10 - 05:19 pm
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This is ridiculous!!! Why

This is ridiculous!!! Why isn't there this much controversy over the christmas parade? A parade is a parade. As long as they adhere to the letter of the law, then why can't they have their parade? And to my knowledge, there is NOTHING in the constitution nor any other legal document stating that GAY people cannot peacefully assemble. I am not a lawyer, and I know that!!! Come on Deke!

Riverman1
86803
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Riverman1 02/16/10 - 05:25 pm
0
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It's all because the Boy

It's all because the Boy King, Casper Miquetoast doesn't want to appear as if he wanted to allow the parade. He wants the law department to tell him he should so he can say he had no choice.

I don't care that much one way or another about the parade, but Deke is trying to play both sides as he always does. That's what's so disingenous about him.

I have a feeling Joe Bowles and a couple of others would have taken a firm stand, one way or another.

cdharrison
23
Points
cdharrison 02/16/10 - 05:33 pm
0
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Not approving it would open

Not approving it would open the City of Augusta to a legal battle it couldn't possibly win. They have as much right as anyone else to assemble.

nofrills
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nofrills 02/16/10 - 05:35 pm
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Tell them to take it to

Tell them to take it to Keywest. Why do we need to have them pushing that crap in my face? If they want it thats fine but not in my backyard. Go Deke Go! Find us a loop hole to keep the gays and any other groups that might portray Augusta in a bad light.

buddha_jon
0
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buddha_jon 02/16/10 - 05:35 pm
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You are exactly right

You are exactly right Riverman1. Couldn't have said it better myself.

buddha_jon
0
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buddha_jon 02/16/10 - 05:40 pm
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there is no loophole nofrils.

there is no loophole nofrils. thats this issue. if you deny gay people the right to assemble, then why can the religious groups assemble? or the political groups assemble? one group is no better than the other. if one has the right to assemble, then the others do as well. just because one group doesn't like the other, doesn't mean they can stop them from assembling.

jack
10
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jack 02/16/10 - 05:55 pm
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buddha_jon buddha_jon Tuesday

buddha_jon
buddha_jon
Tuesday, Feb. 16 4:19 PM

* Login or register to post comments

This is ridiculous!!! Why isn't there this much controversy over the christmas parade? A parade is a parade. As long as they adhere to the letter of the law, then why can't they have their parade? And to my knowledge, there is NOTHING in the constitution nor any other legal document stating that GAY people cannot peacefully assemble. I am not a lawyer, and I know that!!! Come on Deke!....Augusta doesn't want or need the outrageous behavior such as the parade held in San Francisco. I have never seen the same outrageous conduct of religious or political groups meetings/parades.

Brad Owens
4715
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Brad Owens 02/16/10 - 05:56 pm
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Yes yes, RM1. It seems that

Yes yes, RM1. It seems that the fact this is a 1st Ammendment issue that a leagl opinion is needed, because all of the older church going crowd knows he would NEVER support a Gay Day in Augusta unless he was FORCED to by the law, and all the cool members of Young Professionals of Augusta understand that Deke REALLY doesn't have anything against gays, he just had to be sure his bases were covered at election time with the God Squad. And the gay folks think Deke is cute so he gets a pass from them anyway...smart politics.

nofrills
0
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nofrills 02/16/10 - 05:58 pm
0
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That the problem with the

That the problem with the law. They shouldn't have rights! Groups that tear apart the very fiber of what this country was built on should be denied. We are flooded with so much freedoms we are choking on our own words and laws. We need to fix this country once and for all and go back to the basics. The fact the city can be sued for denying some group a permit is over the top!

2be1self
0
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2be1self 02/16/10 - 06:05 pm
0
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Congress shall make no law

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

MrsAlicia
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MrsAlicia 02/16/10 - 06:05 pm
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nofrills - you need a history

nofrills - you need a history lesson. This country was not based on Christian values, which it sounds like you are implying.
- Alicia
Proud to be not just an American, but an IOWAN.

MrsAlicia
0
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MrsAlicia 02/16/10 - 06:06 pm
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Well said 2be!

Well said 2be!

Brad Owens
4715
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Brad Owens 02/16/10 - 06:09 pm
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nofrills, aren't you one of

nofrills, aren't you one of the guys harping on how many 'rights' we have lost? Can't have it both ways. The very idea that it is possible to have too much freedom when it comes to self expression is a real shocker to me. You must be joking, you cannot possibly mean what you wrote there..

nofrills
0
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nofrills 02/16/10 - 06:09 pm
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Not hadly! I'm Jewish. I am

Not hadly! I'm Jewish. I am talking from the taxpayer side because we will be the ones paying for having a law allowing us to be sued for crap like this!

mommie2
2
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mommie2 02/16/10 - 06:13 pm
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Not following you nofrills.

Not following you nofrills. How could we be sued?

nofrills
0
Points
nofrills 02/16/10 - 06:14 pm
0
0
My opinion is to deny it

My opinion is to deny it because I dont like it. I am not afraid they will turn me gay. It goes against what I am trying to teach my sons. I think the people should decide this issue at the next vote but the fact we can be sued if we deny it is the root of the problem. If we the people decide we dont want it then that should be the end of it. These are the freedoms we need to protect. not rather you can march or not!

nofrills
0
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nofrills 02/16/10 - 06:17 pm
0
0
If you deny a group the

If you deny a group the permit they can sue you for the right to have the permit and all costs and that includes legal fees

mommie2
2
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mommie2 02/16/10 - 06:19 pm
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So we should not deny it

So we should not deny it because it infringes upon the rights of citizens, law-abiding citizens at that. Because it offends it a few does not make it illegal. The Bill of Rights protects the rights of the popular and unpopular.

buddha_jon
0
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buddha_jon 02/16/10 - 06:21 pm
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So if gays shouldn't have

So if gays shouldn't have rights, then why should jews or christians or anyone else have rights? either we all should have EQUAL RIGHTS, or none at all. make up your mind nofrills. your arguments make no sense. gays shouldnt be allowed to assemble because YOU dont like it? what makes YOU so special that you get to decide what other people do? it sounds like communism to me!

buddha_jon
0
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buddha_jon 02/16/10 - 06:25 pm
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jack... dont judge the

jack... dont judge the augusta gay pride parade based on what happens at other parts of the country. just because san fran has people doing absurd things doesnt mean that augusta will. the parade hasnt even happened yet and you are already assuming what will happen. and you know what they say happens when you assume...

Brad Owens
4715
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Brad Owens 02/16/10 - 06:26 pm
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nofrills, so you think

nofrills, so you think allowing other Americans to have a parade will override your own teachings to your sons? Don't you think YOU have a stronger influence over your sons than some random group of people gathering once evry ten years? I am still not following. You would deny someone their freedom and then say they should not be free to use the courts to force the government to obey their own laws? Too much freedom? What? I mean, please elaborate.

2be1self
0
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2be1self 02/16/10 - 06:47 pm
0
0
To know what you prefer,

To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying "Amen" to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

countyman
20581
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countyman 02/16/10 - 06:35 pm
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A gay parade in the second

A gay parade in the second largest city and metro in GA. Wow! That is really a big deal. Sarcasm......

countyman
20581
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countyman 02/16/10 - 06:35 pm
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Augusta needs to have a gay

Augusta needs to have a gay parade every year.

mommie2
2
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mommie2 02/16/10 - 06:36 pm
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I'm not sure that helps the

I'm not sure that helps the argument 2be1. The point to be argued is that all citizens of the United States enjoy the same rights regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or handicap.

MrsAlicia
0
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MrsAlicia 02/16/10 - 06:41 pm
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nofrills - this is not a

nofrills - this is not a theocracy. You can teach your children whatever you want, but you have no right (nor should you) to force it upon others or deny others their own rights over it. Following your own logic... someone not raising their children as Christians have every right to stop religious groups from gathering or exercising their rights.

Did anyone hear about that study done a few years ago re: homophobia? They studied two groups of straight men: one group that claimed no issues with homosexuality, and another that you could classify as "homophobic." When shown naked or near-naked pictures of other men, only the homophobic group experienced an increase in, um, circumference.

MrsAlicia
0
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MrsAlicia 02/16/10 - 06:42 pm
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I agree mommie2 - you're not

I agree mommie2 - you're not doing yourself any favors by acting as hateful as others, though you're point is taken.

Junket831
0
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Junket831 02/16/10 - 07:29 pm
0
0
Why don't we just have one

Why don't we just have one big parade for all opinions on any issue you want to march about. Could be civil rights, gay rights, equal rights, tea party, public option, raise taxes, no taxes, fair taxes, public schools, private schools, prayer in schools, no schools, gun rights, peace, war, pro-Augusta, anti-Augusta. Make it like a first Friday type event and have the groups reserve specific street corners, parks, etc.. Call it the First Amendment Saturday. The point will be that we all have a right to express an opinion. Whether that view is held by the majority or by a very small minority. Personally I believe this particular parade is a waste of time and not appropriate for most children. But, as much as I dislike it, I understand the right of others to express it. If people are really opposed to the concept of this particular parade then go on down and join it by clearly expressing your displeasure. You have the right!

corgimom
33959
Points
corgimom 02/16/10 - 07:39 pm
0
0
The KKK has paraded down

The KKK has paraded down Broad St, and I consider them far more immoral than gay people. And Augusta didn't fall apart. I am far more concerned with hatred, fear, and intimidation--wait a minute, I think I'm on to something here...oh yeah, I was talking about the KKK, not "Christians". Got it. I'm wondering if all the people that think that "children shouldn't be exposed to that" normally take their children down on Broad St. at 10:30 on Sunday mornings. They won't be exposed to it if adults don't take them.

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