The organizer of a controversial ‘Straight Pride’ event in Modesto, California claims it will go ahead despite the city refusing to grant a permit.
Speaking to CBS Sacramento, organizer Don Grundman said there are “many, many new plans, five at least, maybe 10” for the anti-LGBTQ event to take place.
Backed by the National Straight Pride Coalition, the event was originally planned for Aug. 24 in a Modesto park, but the city council rejected a permit application because the group didn’t have liability insurance.
Grundman met with authorities on Wednesday, Aug. 14, to “find compromise” on the matter, telling CBS, “We’re just waiting for the bureaucratic wheels to grind, and they can grind very slowly.”
However, Modesto city spokesperson Thomas Reeves said that the ‘Straight Pride’ organizers had failed to meet the basic steps to gain a permit.
Chris Holland, a Modesto resident who plans to protest the event with other locals, told CBS that there is strong opposition, saying, “We cannot just sit idly by and let this happen. Our community is made up of every color of the rainbow and every marginalized community is in fear of them bringing violence.”
‘Straight Pride’ could still go ahead as an unstructured gathering, Grundmann and co. would not be able to officially reserve space anywhere in the city without a permit.
Watch CBS Sacramento’s report below:
The National Straight Pride Coalition, as they call themselves, is trying to prevent “current and future generations of all races and colors from being destroyed by the inherent malevolence of the Homosexual Movement,” according to their website.
The group believes that their straight, white, Christian worldview is “under a massive coordinated attack” and that its members must take “decisive action in defense of these fundamental values of life,” branding themselves as being at “war” with LGBTQ people.
Grundmann had previously made a serious gaffe during a city council meeting regarding the permit, saying, “We’re a totally peaceful, racist group.”
His comments were met with jeers, laughter, and chants from those in attendance.
‘Straight Pride’ in Modesto gained national notoriety after the gay son of one of the event’s organizers spoke out against it.
Matthew Mason, of Modesto, Calif., said his estranged mother, Mylinda, was co-organizing the event — which he branded “white supremacy masquerading as straight pride.”
Mason said his mother made him feel unwelcome after he came out at 19, and that the rhetoric used by ‘Straight Pride’ organizers was “rhetoric I’ve heard my whole life.”
Mylinda Mason refuted her son’s comments, telling NBC News that Matthew was to blame for their estrangement, arguing that “homosexuals in general pull away from family and friends at some point.”
She also defended ‘Straight Pride,’ saying, “the word ‘pride’ has been stolen, if you will, or hijacked by the evil one, and I want to say that we are taking pride in our God almighty, in our creator, and in his order.”