California city denies permit for Straight Pride rally

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MODESTO, California — A Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park.

Modesto city officials on Friday denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park.

Organizer Don Grundmann had estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization.

“We haven’t done anything,” he said. “We’re a totally peaceful, racist group,” Grundmann said at a city council meeting.

Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities.

City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use.

However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Tuesday.

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