An Anoka-based gay and lesbian youth advocacy group launched a petition after its members were told they can't walk in Anoka's annual Halloween parade, MinnPost reports.
About 30 kids had planned to march with Justin's Gift but parade organizers told them there were already too many walking entrants participating.
Justin's Gift was created in honor of 15-year-old Anoka High School student Justin Aaberg who was openly gay and committed suicide in 2010. According to the organization's website, Aaberg was the target of bullies and was physically harassed for being gay.
Anoka gained national attention this year after a rash of suicides, some involving gay students, prompted the school district to change its policy on sexual orientation.
Jefferson Fietek, vice president or the organization tells MPR News, "The kids are pretty upset. We're trying to show these kids that they're part of the community and unfortunately it backfired and sent a completely different message."
Parade organizers did not respond to either MinnPost or MPR News.