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“Porterville, California, Says ‘Yes’ — Then ‘No’ — To Gay Pride Month”


By Lila Shapiro


This year has brought waves of good news for gays and lesbians living in the United States, especially in California, where same-sex weddings resumed in June, following a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

But a small city in the Central Valley area of California is bucking that trend.

This week, the city council of Porterville voted to rescind a proclamation made last month by the mayor declaring June 2013, LGBT Pride Month. Three council members argued that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community should not get “special consideration,” and voted to replace the gay pride proclamation with a resolution declaring June 2013 “a month of community charity and goodwill to all in Porterville.”

Robin McGehee, an activist with the gay rights group GetEqual, spent the night in jail after she was arrested along with several gay advocates while protesting the vote. They were charged with disturbing the peace.

There are still many places where it’s scary and lonely to be openly gay, she said in an interview. “You’d think in 2013 that surely these towns don’t still exist, but they do.”


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