California city denies permit for Straight Pride Parade

National

(CNN) – The City of Modesto, California was denied a permit for the controversial Straight Pride Parade.

The city cited two reasons for denying the permit.

First, they said the event organizers did not get the event insured.

Second, the city cited safety concerns.

“As of tonight I can confirm the City of Modesto will be denying the permit,” said Thomas Reeves, City of Modesto Public Information Officer.

The straight pride event was planned in Modesto’s Graceada Park for August 24, and after weeks of debate, the Modesto City Council pulled the plug citing too many issues with the event and the organizer.

“We were informed today by the insurance carrier that they are denying insurance. If you don’t have insurance you can’t reserve one of our parks,” Reeves said. “The second thing is our concern for safety; we have a big concern for the residents around Graceada Park.”

It was advertised on social media in a colorful flyer celebrating heterosexuality, masculinity and more.

In a meeting Wednesday, opponents said Don Grundmann, the man behind it, promoted hate.

Reached by phone he dealt with this latest blow.

“Even if I turned in an insurance policy as I’m speaking to you, we would be told that it’s too late to complete the process,” Don Grundmann of the National Straight Pride Coalition said. “Maybe that isn’t true, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that occurs.”

Also at the meeting was Mathew Mason, who came out as gay 4 years ago, and his adoptive mother supported the parade.

“Everybody in the community has really been speaking out and taken a stance against this really harmful rhetoric that Don Grundmann is trying to bring to our community,” Mason said.

The issue of the parade has divided many for weeks.

“I can understand where they’re coming from with all the hate that’s been going on right now,” said Stacey Hernandez of Modesto.

“I think it was the right decision,” said citizen Adam Webber. “I’m openly gay myself, and I’m also a physically disabled person, so obviously I would be concerned about a group like that coming into the area.”

The organizers can reapply for a permit in a non-residential area, but it’s unlikely that they will be able to find an insurance carrier to provide insurance.

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