City of Modesto Says “Hell No” to a Straight Pride Rally

"'Straight Pride' has nothing to do with respect or acceptance."

City officials in Modesto, California, have denied an event permit to homophobes hoping to stage a “Straight Pride” rally later this month.

As CBS Sacramento reports, Straight Pride pushers failed to re-submit a second request for an event permit before this Tuesday’s deadline—and after their initial request was shot down due to lack of insurance and security concerns.

Homophobes in Modesto first announced their plans to stage a Straight Pride rally late last month, following the lead of cishet “advocates” in Boston, Massachusetts, who faced similar obstacles when trying to organize a rally and obtain corporate “sponsors.” Unsurprisingly, none of the businesses organizers tried to tap had any interest in supporting the cause.

Despite widespread outrage—and the Freudian slip of the century at a planning event last week—Modesto Straight Pride organizer Don Grundmann said the group still plans to have some sort of event on Saturday, August 24.

“There’s many, many new plans. Five at least, maybe 10,” he told CBS Sacramento. “We’re just waiting for the bureaucratic response and the bureaucratic wheels to grind and they can grind very slowly.”

In a statement supplied to NewNowNext, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur condemned the event and the sentiment behind it:

At Equality California, a fundamental principle of our work is to respect the sexual orientations and gender identities of all people. But let’s be clear: “Straight Pride” has nothing to do with respect or acceptance. Unlike LGBTQ Pride celebrations across the country, which bring people of all sexual orientations and gender identities together to promote acceptance, these events are an attempt to stoke anti-LGBTQ and racial animus, undermine our civil rights, and strike fear in the hearts of LGBTQ people and our families.

Matthew Mason, a 28-year-old gay man and the son of Modesto Straight Pride organizer Mylinda Mason, also spoke out about the group’s harmful rhetoric at a city council meeting.

“We don’t want hate in Modesto,” Matthew told The Modesto Bee. “I am making sure Modesto is not a place for hate speech.”

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