By Doug McMiIIan /Gazette-Journal
FALLON - Third District Court Judge Archie Robinson will decide this morning whether to issue an injunction barring the Gay Rodeo National Championship from taking place in Fallon this weekend.
But Churchill County District Attorney Kevin Pasquale said he will stop the rodeo with or without a court order.
A state law requires organizers of any outdoor assembly of more than 1,000 people to obtain a special events license from the county commissioners, Pasquale said Thursday. "No license bas been gotten and no attempt has been made to get one," he said.
Thus it is unlawful for the rodeo to be held, unlawful for anyone to sell tickets for it or aid in putting it on, he said.
"With ail the media coverage that the Gay Rodeo was going on in Fallon, the important thing now is to get the message out as quickly as possible: 'There ain't going to be a rodeo in Fallon this weekend."
Les Krambeal, president of the International Gay Rodeo Association, could not be reached for comment Thursday, nor could Reno attorney Rodney Sumpter, who represented the group in its unsuccessful attempt to hold the event at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno.
But Krambeal said Wednesday he was still expecting 1,500 spectators per day to show up Saturday and Sunday at David Lantry's small, private roping arena on Union Lane, four miles south of Fallon.
The state's "Unlawful Assemblies Act," requires anyone planning to hold an outdoor event with a potential for attracting more than 1,000 persons to apply for a license at least 60 days before the date, even if it's on private property.
Gay Rodeo organizers couldn't possibly have complied since they only began their search for a place to hold their finals in Churchill County two weeks ago, after being rejected by groups in Reno and Virginia City.
The law requires commissioners to hold a hearing to determine if there is adequate security, water, sanitation, medial facilities, parking and traffic control.
Gay Rodeo organizers said they were making adequate provisions for all of these concerns, and did not need to go through the county because the event was planned for private property.
Pasquale said he didn't mention the state law until now because when organizers initially approached county officials two weeks ago, they were trying to rent the Churchill County Fairgrounds, which wouldn't have required the license.
At that time, the district attorney said, he told them the county probably wouldn't be able to provide the extra services they would need and they "went behind our backs" in a "sneaky and underhanded" way to try to hold the event on private property.