Porterville Hub




Friday Speed Read: Montana, Gallup on Marriage, Scott Peters, Pocatello, Porterville

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Ben_ChaseLAWSUIT COMES TO MONTANA:

The ACLU on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Montana, challenging that state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. That leaves only two states (North and South Dakotas) that don’t have a federal lawsuit pending against their state ban. In the Montana suit, Rolando v. Fox, three of the four plaintiff couples have obtained marriage licenses in other states. Democratic Governor Steve Bullock issued a statement Thursday, saying, “The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate – not discriminate against – two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together.”

SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE ‘SOLIDIFIED’:

GallupA new Gallup poll, released Wednesday, says that support for allowing same-sex couples to marry has “solidified above the majority level.” The poll of 1,028 adults nationwide between May 8 and 11 found 55 percent believe same-sex marriages should be “recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.” Forty-two percent said “not valid.” “When Gallup first asked Americans this question about same-sex marriage in 1996, 68% were opposed to recognizing marriage between two men or two women, with slightly more than a quarter supporting it (27%),” noted the polling group. “Since then, support has steadily grown, reaching 42% by 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it -- a milestone that reached its 10th anniversary this month.”

PetersDRAWING ENDA AS THE LINE IN THE SAND:

A group of LGBT leaders in San Diego issued an open letter Wednesday, supporting a push for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and a vote for U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, the Democratic incumbent representing San Diego (Congressional District 52). Peters supports ENDA, and his openly gay Republican challenger Carl DeMaio has appeared less passionate about it. In November, according to examiner.com, DeMaio told a San Diego State University audience that he supports ENDA but doesn’t think Congress should legislate “social issues.” The May 22 letter, signed by California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, and others states, “Those seeking to support true equality and represent our community must be leaders, and public support and advocacy for this critical civil rights legislation should be the minimum we expect.”

SMALL TOWN FRIENDLY:

Voters in Pocatello, Idaho, voted down a measure Tuesday that was aimed at ending the town’s policy against discrimination based on sexual orientation. According to the Idaho State Journal, the vote was “razor thin.” Out of 9,623 votes cast, the margin of victory was 147 votes.

SMALL TOWN BULLIES: Hamilton

The Porterville City Council meeting attracted a crowd Monday, as many members of the public showed up to express their anger at Mayor Cam Hamilton’s remark last week that child victims of bullying should just “grow a pair” rather than ask for help from the council. The Porterville Recorder said Hamilton walked during the public comment session, to do an interview with CNN. In the CNN interview, he said he wished his remarks had been a “little less colorful,” but he said a proposal to create “safe zones” in schools doesn’t help victims once they leave the safe zones. He said kids need to learn how to “stand up for themselves,” but conceded society should also stand up to bullies. “If in fact we see somebody who is being harassed or is being bullied, we as a society –be it out in the city or in the school itself – have the ability to stand up for the person who is being bullied and just tell the bully, ‘We’re not going to put up with this.’”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Monday Speed Read: Utah, Arkansas, Porterville Mayor, Obama vs. Homophobia, Sacred Heart Tux

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

McshaneOREGON DECISION AT NOON TODAY:

U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane of Oregon said Friday he would issue his decision at noon PDT today in litigation challenging the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. Unless McShane puts a stay on his own decision, a ruling against the ban would likely go into effect immediately.  Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber supports the right of same-sex couples to marry, and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum refused to defend the ban in court, saying it was unconstitutional. Officials in several counties have already indicated they are prepared to issue licenses as soon as such a decision is announced.

ArkansasARKANSAS ROLLER COASTER:

Arkansas county circuit court Judge Chris Piazza issued an amended and final decision May 15 to make clear he intended to include, in his original May 9 ruling striking down two laws banning same-sex couples from marrying, a third law that prohibits county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The next day, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a one-sentence order, granting the state’s request for a stay on Piazza’s decision pending the state’s appeal before the state high court. And then, the Republican speaker of the Arkansas House voted against suspension of House rules to allow for a vote on a resolution to urge the state supreme court to overturn Piazza’s ruling. The Arkansas Times reported that House Speaker Davy Carter voted against suspending the rules to allow the resolution on the floor, saying “Judicial intimidation by the legislative branch is not appropriate in this instance or any other.”

MAYOR SAYS BULLIED KIDS SHOULD ‘GROW A PAIR’:

Porterville, California, is not an LGBT friendly place. Its city council last fall ousted a mayor who had declared June LGBT Pride Month and, in 2008, it supported Proposition 8. But it still startled some observers last week when the new mayor, Cameron Hamilton, said kids who are bullied should take care of the problem themselves. “I’m against bullying, but I’m getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything….All most people have to do is grow a pair and stick up for them damn selves,” said Hamilton, recorded by ABC News. The former mayor, Virginia Gurrola, said “It’s hard to stand up and grow a pair when you’re a ten-year-old little girl.” The proposal before the council was a resolution by Gurrola to create “safe zones” for kids during after school hours. Gay Porterville spokeswoman Melissa McMurrey said she was “shocked” by Hamilton’s remarks. The council will take up the resolution Tuesday, May 20.

PRESIDENT SPEAKS AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA:

The White House issued a press release Friday, saying “no one should face violence or discrimination -- no matter who they are or whom they love.” The statement was released to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which was Saturday. The president’s statement also noted that next month marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

CATHOLIC STUDENTS RALLY BEHIND TUX:

Students at a Catholic high school in San Francisco wore ties to school Friday to express their support of a female student who wore a tuxedo for her senior portrait. Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory requires female students to wear dresses for their senior portraits and took Jessica Urbina’s photo out of the yearbook. But school officials told the San Francisco Chronicle Friday that the tie-day action “sparked a campus-wide dialogue which will result in a revision of policy."
© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


California Mayor Removed from Office for Issuing LGBT Pride Declaration in June: VIDEO

Gurrola

This week Porterville, California mayor Virginia Gurrola was removed from office by a homophobic and vindictive City Council angry that she had dared issue an LGBT Pride declaration in June.

Reddit user 'nowaykd' posted the above photo yesterday showing support for Gurrola from the LGBT community.

Here's the backstory:

In 2009, Porterville, California's City Council faced outrage from some of the community after it passed a resolution publicly supporting Proposition 8.

V_gurrolaEarlier this year the town had a heated debate over plans by some of the Porterville City Council members to rescind an LGBT Pride proclamation made by the city's mayor, Virginia Gurrola. An overflow crowd turned out at the City Council meeting in June .

Blogger Jim Reeves writes:

The religious community had been up in arms over Mayor Gurrola’s issuing of the Pride Month proclamation from the moment they heard about it. Even though the process in Porterville has always been one of community members submitting a request to the City, and of the Mayor approving that request and presenting it at a Council meeting, speakers harangued Mayor Gurrola over the course of the next three council meetings for exceeding her authority, and daring to present such an evil thing. Council members Ward, Shelton, Hamilton, and to a lesser extent McCracken, all spoke against the proclamation the night it was issued. Public comment during the meetings included a lot of vitriol directed at Mayor Gurrola by the religious community, with at least two speakers calling for the Biblical punishment for homosexuality – that homosexuals are “worthy of death”. A few screamed at the Mayor while waving Bibles in the air. Speaker after speaker rose to condemn the LGBT community, spouting falsehood after lie after endlessly disproven statistic and other made up nonsense. Above it all, on the wall behind the council members, are the words “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

PortervilleIn July, the City Council voted 3-2 to rescind the mayor's LGBT Pride proclamation, prompting a protest by three activists who stormed the chamber holding up signs reading "liars" and bigots". They were arrested.

The City Council majority this week succeeded in a plan to punish Gurrola and the Vice Mayor Pete McCracken by removing them from office. The LGBT Pride declaration was behind the ousting.

ABC30 reports:

Gurrula says she wasn't surprised with outcome, given her recent support of gay rights issues.
Supporters of Gurrola say there was no reason to remove her from her post as mayor. But they say her position to support a proclamation designating the month of June as LGBT pride month, is the reason behind the shakeup.

But the new Mayor Cameron Hamilton says that wasn't the case to switch leadership.

According to the city's charter, the mayor and vice mayor are allowed to serve a two-year term. But either may be removed before their term is up by a council's majority vote.

Watch ABC30's report on the ousting, AFTER THE JUMP...

Newmayor

Continue reading "California Mayor Removed from Office for Issuing LGBT Pride Declaration in June: VIDEO" »


Three Activists Arrested as Porterville, California's City Council Rescinds Mayor's Gay Pride Proclamation: VIDEO

Porterville

In 2009, Porterville, California's City Council faced outrage from some of the community after it passed a resolution publicly supporting Proposition 8.

Recently the town has been in a heated debate over plans by some of the Porterville City Council members to rescind an LGBT Pride proclamation made by the city's mayor, Virginia Gurrola. An overflow crowd turned out at the City Council meeting in June and some heated debate took place.

On Tuesday night, the City Council voted 3-2 to resind the mayor's LGBT Pride proclamation, prompting a protest by three activists who stormed the chamber holding up signs reading "liars" and bigots". They were arrested.

ABC30 reports:

City Councilmember Pete McCracken voted down taking back the proclamation because in the city's history. The mayor has always had a right to issue a proclamation without the council's approval. Three other councilmembers disagreed, voting to rescind the proclamation and instead issue a more broad resolution that did not specify the gay community. The outbursts by both sides even sent the mayor out of the room in tears.

Even though McCracken would have voted to keep the proclamation, he chose not to sign it when the mayor issued it last month. "I did not sign the proclamation. I did not feel at the time that the proclamation the way it was written was appropriate," McCracken said.

As for the protests, McCracken said the demonstration clearly violated city rules. "Had they done it on the street, more power to them, gazebo across the street, no problem. In the council chambers the rules are no posters there are no signs there are no demonstrations," McCracken said.

Watch ABC30's report on the vote and arrests, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Three Activists Arrested as Porterville, California's City Council Rescinds Mayor's Gay Pride Proclamation: VIDEO" »


City Council Members in Porterville, CA Want to Rescind Mayor's LGBT Pride Proclamation: VIDEO

Porterville

In 2009, Porterville, California's City Council faced outrage from some of the community after it passed a resolution publicly supporting Proposition 8. Now the town is in a heated debate over plans by some of the Porterville City Council members to rescind an LGBT Pride proclamation made by the city's mayor, Virginia Gurrola.

An overflow crowd turned out at the City Council meeting on Tuesday night and some heated debate took place.

According to ABC30, "several council members want the proclamation rescinded and a resolution be voted on instead, calling June a month of community charity and goodwill to all in Porterville."

Watch their report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "City Council Members in Porterville, CA Want to Rescind Mayor's LGBT Pride Proclamation: VIDEO" »


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