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Recall Effort Launched After City Official Dubs July 'Straight Pride Month'

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Jul 2, 2018

A city official in Dixon, California published a column denigrating LGBTQs and dubbing July "Straight Pride American Month." He now faces a recall effort, The Sacramento Bee reports.

It took less than a day for controversy to heat up after Ted Hickman, the vice mayor of Dixon, published the column in a city newspaper called Independent Voice on June 29. The column featured an illustration of a rainbow flag covered with a red circle and slash, the international "not allowed" symbol. Despite Hickman's claim he was not promoting homophobic animus, his column was littered with anti-gay disparagements.

"Don't get me wrong I support the First Amendment, as much as 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," a parenthetical aside read in the column's very first sentence.

From there the column went on to declare that straight people, unlike gays, "work, have families... and don't flaunt our difference dressing up like faries [sic] and prancing by the thousands in a parade in nearby San Francisco to be televised all over the world..."

"If you remember 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," the column read. "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," the column continued. "We do it with our parades in every state and county in this country with families celebrating together."

The column made no mention of same-sex married couples, their families, or the fact that gay people also enjoy good health. The column's full text can be found at Hickman's website.

Hickman, contacted by the Bee on June 30, offered the opinion that "thin-skinned people took offense" at what he had written, and claimed that the piece was "tongue-in-cheek and had nothing to do with my elected position," despite his claim to have used his authority as vice mayor to make a proclamation that July should be "Straight Pride American Month."

By Sunday a recall effort was in the works, reported SFGate. A protest was also in the planning stages, local news station ABC 10 reported.

SFGate reported that Hickman simply shrugged off the nascent recall effort, saying, "The numbers aren't there," while the mayor of Dixon, Thom Bogue, cited Hickman's freedom of speech, telling the media, "I do believe in a person's freedom of speech even when I don't like what they are saying,"

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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