A Modesto mother and son are on opposite sides of the debate over a “straight pride” parade and rally scheduled for later this month.
A group called the National Straight Pride Coalition has applied for a permit for the August 24 gathering. Organizer Mylinda Mason says the event will be a celebration of their values, which are “heterosexuality, masculinity, femininity, our Western Civilization, our wonderful country, and Christianity.”
Her adoptive son, Matthew Mason, is gay. He opposes the event and says her words are code for white supremacy.
“Organizers of this group are white nationalists, white supremacists,” he said. “Rhetoric surrounding white nationalists is inherently violent. I am all for free speech, I am not for free speech that incites violence.”
Matthew Mason and other demonstrators will appear before the city council Wednesday to voice their opposition, and to ask the City Council to deny the group a permit. The City Council usually does not weigh in on permits — which are handled by the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department — but could choose to intervene.
“This is not about being proud of being heterosexual,” he said. “This is about maintaining an archaic fascistic worldview which goes hand-in-hand with patriarchy and white supremacy.”
Mylinda Mason stands by the plan to host the rally.
“America was set apart by God and was established on biblical Christianity and historically these were white European males,” she said.
Opponents plan to hold a candlelight vigil and speak against the "straight pride" event at Wednesday's meeting.