Protests planned after California politician declares July 'Straight Pride American Month'
DIXON (KTXL) — The vice mayor of Dixon is getting a lot of heat for his column in a local paper declaring July "Straight Pride American Month."
In the Independent Voice column, Vice Mayor Ted Hickman calls gay men "fairies" and associates himself with “healthy heterosexuals." He also wrote, "We are different from them… and don’t flaunt our differences dressing up like fairies and prancing by the thousands in a parade."
Within days, an online recall effort has gathered around one thousand views and a protest is planned for next Tuesday’s city council meeting.
"I’m extremely upset," said Dixon resident Julie Monson, who is part of the group organizing the protest. "I don’t want to raise my kids in a town where somebody who is in a position of power says those kinds of words."
LGBTQ organizer Matt St. Anant agrees with Hickman’s free speech rights -- but he has his limits.
"I completely support the First Amendment," St. Anant said. "I don’t support bullying and hate speech and that’s basically what this was."
Fellow Councilman Devon Minnema said Hickman has a history of saying "terrible things" about the LGBTQ community, as well as Asians and Muslim immigrants, in his regular column in the Independent Voice, a Dixon alternative newspaper he helped found decades ago.
"This column has been a black eye to this city,” Minnema told FOX40.
He said the city council is looking into some kind of sanction against Hickman but it is unclear if that’s possible.
Hickman did not respond to efforts to contact him for comment but told the Sacramento Bee that the column is clearly "tongue-in-cheek” and that protestors and those planning a recall effort are "thin-skinned."