A ‘Straight Pride’ event that went ahead in Modesto, California was met with counter-protests which outnumbered ‘Straight Pride’ attendees by nine to one.
After organisers were blocked from using public spaces by city officials, they resorted to using a venue called Durren Barn. According to The Modesto Bee, when the owner of the establishment was made aware of their intent, he ordered them to leave.
Owner Leo Durrer apologised for initially hosting the ‘Straight Pride’ event:
“This whole thing was presented to me as a little meeting, and I had no idea it was going to end up like this.
“I trusted these people wholeheartedly because I did not think they had a mean bone in them. Maybe it’s a really good lesson for me to check things out better in the future.”
For every step someone takes to come and divide our community, spread hatred, spread bigotry these many people are standing on guard to make sure it doesn’t happen
The Straight Pride group then moved on to hold a protest outside a Planned Parenthood clinic and were met with counter-protesters at approximately 1pm.
Two hundred people were outside the centre, according to reports from police, but only 20 of them represented the ‘Straight Pride’ group, indicating there were around 180 counter-protesters.
Director of the ‘National Straight Pride Coalition’, Don Grundmann, claimed the protest was a success saying it didn’t matter that his side was outnumbered as it didn’t “change the truth of our message. They talk about diversity and attack us. So-called diversity and tolerance is a one-way street.”
Grundmann previously spoke to CBS 13, in which he described the parade as a response to “anyone that supports the LGBTQ lifestyle.” He is a San Leandro-based chiropractor and has run five times for U.S Senate, all unsuccessful.
Modesto councilman Mani Grewal who spoke to those attending the counter-protest saying: “For every step someone takes to come and divide our community, spread hatred, spread bigotry, these many people are standing on guard to make sure it doesn’t happen with thousands more.”
Police released a statement following the event, stating there was one incident:
“The only incident reported as of this time involved an assault on McHenry Ave involving one attendee trying to forcibly remove an object from another attendee’s hand.
“Even though this incident is considered an assault and documented as such, neither party wished to press charges and went about their day going separate ways.”
The ‘National Straight Pride Coalition’ has reportedly organised a further event in Boston.
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