In the wake of DOMA and Prop 8 decisions in the U.S. Supreme Court last month, Porterville, California Mayor Virginia Gurrola declared June to be LGBT Pride month, thus bringing the sprawling central valley metropolis of 55,000 people up to speed in terms of political correctness. Unfortunately for the proud folks of P-ville, the city council voted this week to rescind the declaration, sparking much debate and protest in the process.
At Tuesday's city council meeting, councilman Brian Ward (who has been "happily married to his wife Yvette for nine years and they have five wonderful children" and has some training in "Modern Social Issues") spoke for the town's disenfranchised straight population: “Why does the LBGT community get special consideration?" Ward asked a packed house at Porterville City Hall. "Why can’t it apply to everyone?"
An angry crowd member responded, "Because you hate us!"
According to the Porterville Recorder, "Outrage ensued."
During said "outrage" several LGBT activists and protestors were arrested for disturbing the peace, including Robin McGehee of Get Equal who told the Huffington Post yesterday that Porterville was a very proudly "Yes on 8" town during the 2008 election. Mayor Gurrola also pointed out that the town had issued similar proclamations to support veterans and victims of domestic violence.
As an alternative in this case, the council voted 3-2 to rescind the Pride month proclamation and make June "a month of community charity and goodwill to all in Porterville." The town, we should note, also has a pretty sweet rainbow featured prominently across the top of their website.