MODESTO — The City of Modesto has denied a permit for the National Straight Pride Coalition — an extreme anti-LGBTQ and white supremacist group — to hold a “straight pride” event in the city. However, organizers say they still plan to hold the event, with or without a permit. The so-called “straight pride” event is being promoted under the seemingly innocuous guise of being a free speech celebration, however the group’s website makes it clear that the event is aimed at highlighting the “evil of the Homosexual/Sodomy Movement,” the supremacy of western culture and whiteness and the “existence of only two genders.” The Coalition is a small group of radical organizers who have attempted to organize hate-filled events and mobilize ahead of the 2020 election. The Proud Boys, a violent white supremacist hate group, is also expected to participate in the event. U.S. Representative Josh Harder (D-Turlock), who represents Modesto in Congress, has condemned the event.
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur:
“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. Those are not American values. Those are not California values. We call on all elected officials to join Congressman Harder in speaking out and condemning this unacceptable display of hatred. We are better than this.”
This is not the first attempt at a “straight pride” event, as earlier this year, event organizers successfully applied for a similar event permit in Boston.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org