MODESTO (CBS13) — The city of Modesto is considering awarding a permit for a straight pride march in a local park and residents have mixed reviews on the idea.
A flyer circulating on social media posted by the National Straight Pride Coalition says Stanislaus County will host the event August 24th in Modesto’s Graceada Park. The city is reviewing the application and said phones are ringing off the hook.
“We’ve been getting letters, emails, comments, and phone calls all day about it,” said Kristi Ah You, council member for District 3.
Ah You said if it was up to her, this permit wouldn’t be considered because the message behind the event constitutes hate speech and sets us back 25 years.
“I don’t think we need to give a permit for anything that when you go to the page it talks about whiteness, it talks about western civilization, it talks about being Caucasian. That’s all hate crime stuff to me, that’s not okay,” said Ah You.
The man behind the event is Don Grundmann of the National Straight Pride Coalition. He says the parade is his group’s cultural answer to their opponents. When asked what that means Grundmann responded, “anyone that supports the LGBTQ lifestyle.”
“Essentially it boils down to two religious views of the world,” Grundmann said. “One is Christianity, which is represented by heterosexuality, a culture of life, and its opponent is the LGBT movement, which is represented by an opposing religion and an opposing view of life.”
The flyer with a pink border says, “Join us to celebrate heterosexuality, masculinity, feminity, babies – born and unborn – western civilization, our wonderful country, Christianity — Celebrate Life!”
CBS13 approached people in Graceada Park where the event is supposed to be held.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” one man said.
Another woman responded, “If I’m here I’ll be there.”
After giving it some thought another woman said, “We have to have a voice and at some point don’t some people feel that way?”
Views were certainly mixed, but some may consider Grundmann’s views extreme. When told that some in the LGBTQ community consider themselves to be Christian he responded, “There is no such thing as an LGBT Christian who stays LGBT.”
A straight pride parade in Boston was also met by controversy this year. The group calling itself “Super Happy Fun America” wanted to host events in that city.
“We want people to be aware that there is not only one side of things. There’s a lot of people that are uncomfortable with a lot of things that are going on in our country and they’re afraid to speak up,” said organizer John Hugo.
Councilmember Ah You is all for free speech and first amendment rights but says the permit being considered by the city crosses the line and hopes the flyer doesn’t generate attention.
“I think if we ignored it and let the people do whatever they’re going to do, I think maybe four or five people would show up,” Ah You said.
Grundmann says he would like to see straight pride marches take place across the country and says he already has a core group of supporters in Modesto ready and willing to take part if his group is awarded a permit to hold the event in late August.