Modesto denies permit for ‘straight pride’ rally

Don Grundmann, founder of the the National Straight Pride Coalition, at a Modesto City Council meeting Wednesday.
(Andy Alfaro / The Modesto Bee via AP)

A Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called straight pride rally at a local 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.


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

Chris Holland, who planned to stage a counterprotest with other Modesto residents, said it’s important for people to recognize the National Straight Pride Coalition as “a thinly veiled hate organization.”

“They are dressing up their homophobic agenda as a celebration, which mocks everything that pride is about,” he said.

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.