PORTERVILLE, Calif. – More than a month after the city declared June to be “Gay Pride Month,” the City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to rescind the proclamation, as emotions ran high during the meeting.
At least three people were arrested for peacefully protesting during the council meeting, and others were removed from chambers by police officers. Click HERE to read a blog chronically the events of the evening.
Days after the proclamation was approved, anti-gay residents demanded that the city retract the proclamation, most citing religious beliefs. The LGBT community and allies quickly formed a coalition called Porterville Equality and Fairness For All (PEFA), with the goal of promoting tolerance and acceptance.
Speakers from both camps addressed the council before the vote. One woman said the proclamation makes the Bible a “lie.” Another speaker complained: ““Why does the LBGT community get special consideration?” An audience member yelled back: “Because you hate us!”
A visibly upset Mayor Virginia Gurrola, who had backed the proclamation, walked out of the meeting. Vice Mayor Pete McCraken also voted against rescinding the proclamation.