MODESTO (CBS 13) — A straight pride group demonstrated along the streets of Modesto Saturday afternoon and dozens showed up to speak out against them.
Straight pride supporters were denied a permit for their event weeks ago due to issues with logistics but vowed to make an appearance anyway.
Modesto police were on high alert, surrounding protestors and keeping the peace.
A large crowd formed on McHenry Street for several hours. People were holding signs, making noise and speaking out against straight pride event organizer Don Grundmann. For weeks he’s advertised having a straight pride event.
“This is an example of free speech in our country. It’s a one-way street. They want free speech but they don’t want to give us free speech,” Grundmann said.
When Grundmann showed up Saturday afternoon, people against his message said they wanted to outnumber him and surrounded his sign promoting the straight pride coalition.
“Apathy and not confronting fascists when they come out into the society and public space in our communities, it makes it unsafe for queer people, people of color,” said Sabine Tischler.
Grundmann said he showed up Saturday to “defend the foundation of life.”
“They want to shut us down with violence they want to threaten us with violence that they’ll hurt us and we aren’t going to be intimidated,” he said.
Modesto police came prepared on foot, on bikes and on horseback, just in case things did turn violent. But protestors on both sides stayed peaceful.
“I think people are able to express their frustrations and fears and just upset ness with what’s going on,” said Mimsey Ferar, who was there protesting against straight pride.
Earlier in the day, people protesting against straight pride met in Enslen Park to promote their message.
“I wanted to come out here and be peaceful and rally with a bunch of peach of rainbow colors and have a great day,” said Michelle Riddle.