Target: Porterville, California City Council
Goal: Condemn the Porterville City Council for rescinding Gay Pride Month declaration
California is generally seen as progressive and tolerant when compared to other areas of the country, but apparently that doesn’t yet hold true in all parts of the state. Recently, the mayor of Porterville, California issued a proclamation declaring June 2013 Gay Pride Month in the city. Only a month later, the Porterville City Council reneged on the agreement and voted to rescind the mayor’s declaration. The council members opposed to the Gay Pride Month declaration argued that LGBT individuals shouldn’t get “special consideration.”
But declaring a Pride Month isn’t a “special consideration,” it is a recognition of the special discrimination that LGBT Americans often face. Both President Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown had already declared June 2013 LGBT Pride Month because the month holds special significance for supporters of LGBT rights. It marks the Supreme Court overturn of DOMA, a law banning the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage in California.
Porterville Mayor Virginia Gurrola did the right thing when she declared June 2013 Gay Pride Month. She sent a message of acceptance and encouragement to the LGBT community in a city where they can often be stigmatized. By rescinding the declaration, the City Council sends the opposite message. Please sign the petition below to condemn the Porterville, California city council for reneging on the Gay Pride Month declaration and sending a message of intolerance to the city’s LGBT citizens.
Dear Porterville City Council,
LGBT rights have come far in America over the past few years, and California is a state that often leads the way on gay rights issues. Unfortunately, your recent decision to rescind the mayor’s Gay Pride Month declaration shows that not all parts of California are equally tolerant. Despite that fact that other groups, including veterans and domestic violence victims, have had declarations issued in their support, some members of your council viewed the LGBT declaration as an unnecessary “special consideration.”
This is a misrepresentation of the mayor’s intention behind declaring June 2013 Gay Pride Month. The month represents major landmarks in the fight for LGBT equality, including the Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Proposition 8. The declaration should not have been controversial, considering that both President Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown had already passed similar declarations. It is saddening that the city of Porterville chose not to send a message of acceptance to its LGBT community.
Please reconsider your position, and work with Mayor Virginia Gurrola to reinstate Gay Pride Month. This is the only way to reverse your current stance of intolerance and ensure that the city of Porterville stands on the right side of history.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Calvin Fleming via flikr