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Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 10:38am

Mayor Seeks Opinion on Parade

Augusta's mayor says he wants legal advice before local officials approve a gay pride parade scheduled for this summer.

The parade and a three-day festival by Augusta Pride is scheduled for June.

"They want the community to know they exist, that they're proud of who they are and the contributions they've made to the greater Augusta community," says Chris Bannochie, a spokesman for the group.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver says the city can't deny a parade permit because the group has a right to free speech. But he has requested a legal opinion anyway, something not ordinarily done for other events.

Augusta Pride wouldn't comment on that decision.

Augusta residents opposed to gay rights have voiced opposition to the parade.