(MODESTO, Calif.) — An LGBTQ+ organization in California is condemning a “Straight Pride Parade” that has been proposed to take place in the city of Modesto.
Earlier this month, a flyer for the first-ever Straight Pride parade and event in Stanislaus County was posted to the California Straight Pride Coalition Facebook group and is planned for Aug. 24 at Graceada Park.
The flyer, which has been circulating on social media, calls for the celebration of “heterosexuality, masculinity/femininity, born and unborn babies, western civilization and Christianity.”
But the parade proposal has its detractors.
“We, the Board of Directors of MoPRIDE, would like the community to be aware and vigilant regarding this hate-focused, negative, and potentially violent event,” said Jo Sisemore, president of MoPRIDE, in a statement Thursday. “Our primary concern is the safety of our community.”
MoPRIDE is a nonprofit that works to educate the public in tolerance and respect for all people within the LGBT community.
According to Britni Hodge, the center manager for MoPRIDE, “A lot of people have been dealing with mental health in our community and this event was hurtful to see people celebrating the fact that (members of) our community is not part of their community.”
The National Straight Pride Coalition, the organizers of the event, says its mission is to defend children and future generations from “being destroyed by the inherent malevolency/evil of the homosexual/sodomy movement.”
“We’re accused of being haters and negative things,” Don J. Grundmann, founder and director of the National Straight Pride Coalition, told ABC News. “We are having a celebration of life.”
The coalition’s parade application is now under review. If approved, organizers are expecting 500 people to show up.
The proposed event comes nearly a month after a Straight Pride Parade from the group Super Happy Fun America was approved in the city of Boston.
In a series of tweets in early June, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that permits are granted “based on operational feasibility, not on values or endorsement of beliefs.”
Second, permits to host a public event are granted based on operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs. The City of Boston cannot deny a permit based on an organization's values.
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) June 6, 2019
In Modesto, city officials are taking a similar stance.
“The city may or may not agree with any group who submits an application, but the city cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values,” said Thomas Reeves, a spokesperson for the city of Modesto.
While the Straight Pride Parade and Event is still going through the formal channels, MoPRIDE is focusing on celebrating the strength and equality of the LGBTQ+ community in Modesto and rejecting hate.
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