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Long Beach : Gay Parade Insurance

May 15, 1986

The city cannot require sponsors of a gay pride parade scheduled for Sunday to buy liability insurance for that event, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Warren H. Deering ruled Wednesday.

Deering said, however, that the city can require liability insurance pertaining to the sale and consumption of alcohol during a gay pride festival to be held in conjunction with the parade, according to attorney Bill Weinberger, who sought the ruling on behalf of the sponsoring Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Inc.

Judith Doyle, Lesbian and Gay Pride president, said Deering's ruling limiting the city's insurance requirement means that the parade and festival will definitely be held. She said she will continue to seek the $1 million required liability insurance so that beer and wine can be sold at the Saturday and Sunday festival--a necessity, she said, if the event is to be financially self-supporting. Otherwise, she said, the festival will serve soft drinks.

Doyle said that at this point the group has been able to only find insurance for $500,000 worth of liability, and that that policy would not allow the sale of beer and wine.

The organization had asked the court to also prohibit the city from charging police and maintenance fees associated with the parade and festival, but Deering refused to act on that request. He said it would be resolved in an upcoming trial on a previous suit brought against the city by the organization.

Lesbian and Gay Pride Inc. has repeatedly tried to persuade the city to reduce its requirement for $1 million in liability insurance. It tried again on Tuesday but was turned down by the City Council on a 5-2 vote.

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