A California vice-mayor’s declaration that July should be “straight pride” month has resulted in calls for his resignation or recall and threats of a demonstration at the next city council meeting.
Ted Hickman, the vice mayor of Dixon, California, noted in his “That’s Life” column in Dixon’s Independent Voice at the end of June that “last Sunday ended LGBTQF-WTF month … with tens of thousands of folks dancing and prancing all over American celebrating the fact they are different than most of the rest of us and showing their ‘pride’ in being so.”
With his tongue perhaps somewhat in his cheek, Mr. Hickman reminded readers that “last week I proclaimed the Month of July as SPAM …(Straight Pride American Month)…(as Vice Mayor don’t know if I can, but what the heck).”
“Now hundreds of millions of the rest of us can celebrate our month, peaking on July 4th, as healthy, heterosexual, fairly monogamous, keep our kinky stuff to ourselves, Americans,” he wrote in the community paper for the town just west of Sacramento.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he cautioned in his column. “I support the First Amendment, as much as the next person, and support the rights of grown men to wear skin tight short-shorts and go-go boots and don tinker bell wings with wand and prance down the streets of San Francisco.”
His column, which also is available on his personal blog, also referred to “the tinker bells” and “dressing up like faries.”
Reaction from pro-gay advocates was swift.
An online petition to demand his recall had more than 23,000 signers by Sunday afternoon (the entire population of Dixon was less than 19,000 in the 2010 Census). A Facebook page demanding a similar result was also created and had more than 1,700 subscribers and a similar number of “Likes” by then.
The Facebook page’s organizers plan a protest at the Dixon City Council meeting on Tuesday, and by Sunday afternoon almost 200 people had said they were going and over 500 more were “Interested.”
In retaliation, the founder of the local Love Is Love Movement chapter that it is planning the town’s first gay-pride parade for July 28.
“It hurts my heart to know that this man was my neighbor during my childhood [and] that he now thinks that I am less of a human,” Beverly Kearney told TV station KCRA, the NBC affiliate for Sacramento.
Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, said “Mr. Hickman’s words have no place in our society … Mr. Hickman should resign immediately.”
Dixon Mayor Thom Bogue told KCRA Channel 3 that he is aware of the “outcry for a recall,” but “I seriously doubt a recall effort coming into play” since Mr. Hickman will be up for re-election in November.