A "Straight Pride" parade is in the works for Modesto, California, Yahoo News reports. If it's approved, the Central California city will join Boston, Massachusetts in hosting such parades.
As reported in June by The Inquisitr, a group calling themselves "Super Happy Fun America" applied for permission to have a "Straight Pride" parade in Boston. After some back-and-forth between City Hall and the parade organizers, including paperwork and permit issues, the parade was tentatively approved for August 31.
Now Modesto, California is potentially in line to host a Straight Pride parade.
According to The Modesto Bee, the organizers are Don Grundmann of Santa Clara and Mylinda Mason of Modesto. Grundmann claims to not be affiliated with Super Happy Fun America, and instead says that his organization, the National Straight Pride Coalition, has "a far more comprehensive philosophy" of why straight pride parades are necessary.
Regardless of the organizers' affiliations, they claim that the parade will celebrate not only heterosexuality, but also Western civilization and Christianity. According to the Anti Defamation league, such terms are used by white nationalist organizations as code words.
"There's essentially a war between two opposing religions. One is Christianity, and the other is satanism and humanism," said Grundmann.
As of this writing, Modesto officials haven't yet issued a permit for the parade. Organizers hope that, pending approval of the permit, the parade will be held on August 24.At a Modesto City Council meeting on Wednesday night, hundreds packed the city offices to oppose the parade. Said one attendee, "it's hate pride, not straight pride." Another said, "It's a matter of being a human being, and that's not what these people are."
However, denying the permit simply because city officials don't agree with its message could cause First Amendment issues, as Thomas Reeves, a spokesperson for the City Manager's Office in Modesto, explains.
"We can't deny a permit based on values.The approval of this permit would definitely not be an endorsement or sponsorship of any particular message by the city."Other groups in Modesto are planning counter-protests on the day of the planned parade. Modesto Progressive Democrats, for example, has seen hundreds sign up for a counter-protest. Similarly, Modesto's City Hall will be open that day as a "safe space" for members of the LGBTQ community.
"We encourage other community organizations, companies and individuals to join us in rejecting hate in our community," said board president Jo Sisemore.