A gay California man whose mother is one of the co-organizers of a controversial “straight pride” event is speaking out against her plans.
Matthew Mason of Turlock, California, is urging the city of Modesto to reject a permit for the Stanislaus County Straight Pride Parade/Event, which was submitted last month by a group calling itself the National Straight Pride Coalition.
His adoptive and estranged mother, Mylinda Mason, is working alongside Don Grundmann, a chiropractor who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, to coordinate the Aug. 24 event, which is to be held at Modesto’s Graceada Park.
Matthew told The Modesto Bee that he supports the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, but he believes the “straight pride” event has the potential to spark violence given its racist, anti-LGBTQ slant.
On its website, the National Straight Pride Coalition describes “Caucasians” as being “the biological majority of the historical developers and founders of Western Civilization.”
It also argues “current and future generations” are at risk of “being destroyed by the inherent malevolence of the Homosexual Movement.”
“This isn’t ‘straight pride.’ This is hate pride,” Matthew said, according to Fox 40. “Dog whistling to white supremacy... This is not a positive message and this community is committed to positivity, to love, to inclusion and to diversity.”
Matthew, who is organizing a vigil before Wednesday’s Modesto city council meeting to protest the event, said he came out as gay at 19. He and Mylinda have been estranged for several years. His biological mother, Kristi Ah You, serves as a city council member.
“It just so happens that one of the people I need to address is my biological mother,” he told The Modesto Bee. Still, he stressed that he wanted to keep the focus on his opposition to his adoptive mother.
Mylinda told Fox 40 that she and Grundmann do not plan to attend Wednesday’s city council meeting but are hoping members will not deny their application for a permit.
“It is, again, white Caucasians who did come to this country to start liberty and gave us the greatest Constitution in the world,” she said. “It really is just celebrating our beautiful country.”
Thomas Reeves, the community and media relations officer for Modesto, told the Los Angeles Times last month that the city’s decision on the National Straight Pride Coalition’s application would be made solely on “operational feasibility” and not “any endorsement of beliefs.”
A group calling itself Super Happy Fun America is organizing a similar “straight pride” rally in Boston at the end of August. When news of that event broke, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city could not deny a public event application over disagreements with an organizers’ values or beliefs.
“Whatever outside groups may try [to] do, our values won’t change,” he tweeted.