Lesbian sues Miss. town for denying gay bar permit

AP News
Posted: Oct 01, 2013 1:15 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A woman is suing the leaders of a north Mississippi town, accusing them of conspiring to prevent her from opening a gay bar by denying her a business license.

Pat "PJ" Newton filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday against the town of Shannon.

The 55-year-old, who is lesbian from Memphis, Tenn., wants to open a cafe and bar called O'Hara's.

Newton says leaders of the town of about 1,700 denied the application June 4, saying the bar presents a health and safety hazard.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and an injunction allowing the bar to open.

It names the mayor and six aldermen as defendants. They did not immediately respond to a phone message Tuesday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is representing Newton.