Straight Pride organiser insists event will happen, despite no permit
The organiser of a Straight Pride event in Modesto, California, has insisted that the event will go ahead “whether he has a permit or not.”
City officials told CBS that a permit for the event has not been filed, but the organiser Don Grundman maintained: “There is many, many new plans, five at least, maybe 10.”
The event is organised by the ‘National Straight Pride Coalition,’ and was due to take place on August 24. But the city council voted to block it after group couldn’t provide proof of insurance to hold the rally at a local park.
But Grundman is still pushing local authorities to give him the green light, and met with city leaders on Wednesday (August 14) to “find compromise.”
He said: “We’re just waiting for the bureaucratic wheels to grind, and they can grind very slowly.”
Modesto city spokesperson Thomas Reeves said that so far the group has not been able to complete the basic steps to complete a permit.
While a lack of permit does not restrict Grundman’s Constitutional ‘right to gather,’ it does mean he cannot reserve a public space and would be limited in terms of the event’s activities.
There is strong public opposition to the event, led by local Chris Holland, who said: “We cannot just sit idly by and let this happen.
“Our community is made up of every colour of the rainbow and every marginalised community is in fear of them bringing violence.”
Should the event go ahead, Modesto city officials are working with police on a safety plan.
Grundman, who accidentally said last week that he was part of a “totally peaceful racist group,” denied that he is spreading hate.
He insisted: “The violence is all an issue because the city council lady smeared us, and she essentially, in fishing terms, she chummed the waters for violence.”