City leaders in Modesto, California, denied a “straight pride” group’s permit application for a parade within one of the area’s parks.
The National Straight Pride Coalition had sought a parade permit for a city park, but lacked insurance to put on such an event, which was a determining factor. Other reasons were given by the city over why it would not grant the permit, according to a report from CBS Sacramento.
“We were informed today by the insurance carrier that they are denying insurance,” Thomas Reeves, a spokesman for the city, explained. “If you don’t have insurance, you can’t reserve one of our parks. The second thing is our concern for safety. We have a big concern for the residents around Graceada Park where the event was planned to be held.”
Organizers have the right to apply again, Reeves added, though he cautioned they should focus any plans for an event such as a “Straight Pride Parade” to be away from a residential area.
Don Grundmann, the lead organizer for the event, was outraged, expressing doubts over the reasonings given by the city.
“My presumption is that were being set up to be told that the bureaucratic process won’t be completed in time,” Grundmann said.
“Even if I turned in an insurance policy as I’m speaking to you, we would be told that it’s too late to complete the process,” Grundmann added. “Maybe that isn’t true, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that occurs.”
Last Wednesday, several citizens of Modesto voiced their disapproval of such an event coming to their area. Grundmann was also there. While defending the rationale behind the event, Grundmann may have let out a Freudian slip on what the event was really about, CNN reported.
“We’re a totally peaceful, racist group,” he said, resulting in laughter from the audience members there to protest the event.
Indeed, other “straight pride” events across the country have been accused of being promoted by those with far-right, white nationalist viewpoints, prior reporting from HillReporter.com has demonstrated.
In Boston, for instance, Mark Sahady, the main organizer of a “straight pride” parade in that city, has ties to an extremist group called “Resist Marxism.” That organization has espoused anti-Semitic rhetoric in the past, and members have engaged in violent actions against those promoting leftist causes as well, ThinkProgress reported.