Just a month after the City of Boston granted permission to a group to host a “straight pride” parade, another organization has followed suit by submitting an application of their own in California.
The National Straight Pride Coalition aims to host their own “straight pride” parade on Aug. 24 in Graceada Park, located in Modesto, Calif.
According to their website, the group runs by a motto of “normal, natural, healthy, sane,” and aims to keep future generations from being “destroyed “by the “malevolency/evil of the Homosexual/Sodomy Movement.” They have previously protested two “Drag Queen Story Hours” and spoken at a free speech rally, as per their website.
According to a flier posted on Facebook last Wednesday, the “Stanislaus County Straight Pride Parade” aims to celebrate heterosexuality, Christianity, babies — “born and unborn” — our “wonderful country” and binary genders.
While Don Grundmann, the director of the National Straight Pride Coalition, did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, he told the Los Angeles Times that he’s advocating for a return to “old-fashioned American values.”
“We’re looking to spread our message across the country, especially in time for the 2020 election cycle,” he told the Times.
His platform also includes “abolishing the IRS, the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of Education; eliminating the federal income tax; and banning the vaccination of children,” as reported by the Times.
Thomas Reeves, a community and media relations officer for the City of Modesto, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the group’s application is currently under review, and the city hopes to make a decision about whether or not their permit will be accepted within the week.
“It’s taking longer to review this one, given the sensitivity,” Reeves says. “We look at insurance, whether fees are paid, if the space is available and if there are any conflicting space requirements or issues we need to look at.”
He adds that the police department will also look into whether there is any risk involved, which is a standard procedure. The Modesto Police Department declined to comment on the event at this time.
The flier caught the attention of the Modesto Progressive Democrats group.
“The proposed Straight Pride Parade serves only to spread messages of homophobia, racial superiority and dangerously nationalistic ideals,” the group’s president, Chris Ricci, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We do not believe that most Modesto residents agree with these extremist viewpoints and are deeply saddened that there are some who continue to use thinly veiled hate speech under the guise of equality.”
They also expressed their frustration in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“Have you ever been fired from a job for being straight?” the post reads. “Have you been banned from the USA for being Christian? No? That’s because it’s Straight Pride Day EVERY DAY.”
People spoke out in comments on the post, some discussing how the event is offensive and encouraging people to contact authorities to make sure the permit is not approved.
“This event happening here and the ethos behind it is literally devastating to me as a queer trans person,” one person wrote. “I won’t even pretend to be tough about it. It is very terrifying and cuts very deep.”
“This is offensive,” another commented. “I am straight but would never dream of making light of the struggle our LBGQT community has endured.”
A third person wrote, “Seems to me they needed to get a permit from the City of Modesto. If enough people call the city and complain that we don’t want this hate event held in Modesto, maybe they will revoke the permit.”
Reeves confirmed that people definitely have been calling to voice their complaints. “Council members have been receiving emails and calls, the staff that processes permit applications has been receiving correspondence from constituents, and people outside the city too,” he says.
While the city is still processing the application, Reeves clarified that the decision will be made only based on operational feasibility — not the values of the event or speaker, or personal opinions.
“The city is looking at the process,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We’re recognizing free speech and First Amendment rights, but this is not an indication of endorsement or sponsorship of any particular message of the group.”
While the city spokesperson says that the city council has not officially weighed in about the permit, council member Kristi Ah You told CBS Sacramento that if it were up to her, the group would not be granted a permit.
“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.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: