SHANNON, Miss. — A lesbian from Memphis is suing a North Mississippi town for turning down her license for a bar. Pat “PJ” Newton says Shannon aldermen wouldn’t give her the license because her bar would cater to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“Operating a gay business does not mean I would infringe on you or your children. I would operate under the law,” said Newton. “To walk away now would be me saying ‘ok, I agree with you. I am going away.’ No! It has to stop somewhere.”
The city attorney for Shannon says the town turned down Newton’s request for a license out of concerns of necessity of general welfare, traffic congestion and public need due, because another bar is across the street from the site she selected.
Newton’s suit was filed Tuesday in the Aberdeen division of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi. She is being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is seeking an award of damages, an injunction allowing her to open the business and any attorney fees are other costs she encounters.