Weeks after plans for a “straight pride” parade in Boston sparked the ire of LGBTQ rights advocates across the country, another group has come forward with a similar proposal ― this time in Modesto, California.
An organization calling itself the National Straight Pride Coalition began circulating a flyer for the Stanislaus County Straight Pride Parade/Event on social media earlier this week. According to the image, the event is being planned for Aug. 24 at Graceada Park in Modesto.
Unlike the Boston event, however, the Modesto version appears to encompass other right-leaning stances on social issues. It’s being promoted as a “celebration” of “heterosexuality,” as well as “Western civilization, Christianity,” and “babies ― born and unborn.”
The National Straight Pride Coalition’s Don Grundmann told CBS 13 on Monday that the parade is intended as a response to “anyone that supports the LGBTQ lifestyle.”
“Essentially, it boils down to two religious views of the world,” said Grundmann, a chiropractor and herbalist who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate on at least five occasions, according to The Los Angeles Times. “One is Christianity, which is represented by heterosexuality, a culture of life, and its opponent is the LGBT movement, which is represented by an opposing religion and an opposing view of life.”
“There is no such thing as an LGBT Christian who stays LGBT,” he said.
Thomas Reeves, the community and media relations officer for Modesto, confirmed to The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that the National Straight Pride Coalition had applied for a permit to host the event. The city is expected to decide on the status of the group’s application next week, he said, adding that the decision would be based solely on “operational feasibility” and not “any endorsement of beliefs.”
“So although the city does not share in the beliefs of some groups that choose to hold their events here, we may not be able to deny a permit based on an organization’s values,” Reeves said.
Boston officials offered a similar rationale last month when the city granted a permit for a “straight pride” event, also to be held in August, to a group calling itself Super Happy Fun America. Though members offered few specifics, the event will apparently include both a parade and a “straight pride” flag-raising ceremony.
A number of lawmakers and celebrities have rebuked Super Happy Fun America’s plans on social media, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), rock band Smash Mouth and “Captain America” star Chris Evans.
“Every fucking day on public transport is a straight pride parade,” she told the crowd while wearing a T-shirt that read, “Fuck your straight pride,” on the back.