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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A woman has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses the leaders of a north Mississippi town of conspiring to prevent her from opening a gay bar by denying her a business license.

Pat “PJ” Newton filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the town of Shannon.

Newton, a 55-year-old lesbian from Memphis, Tenn., wants to open a cafe and bar in Shannon called O’Hara’s.

Newton says town leaders 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. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen.


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