The Porterville City Council voted — after a standing-room-only hour-long public comment session — to add agenda items to their next city council meeting that would allow a repeal of the city’s controversial LGBT Pride Month proclamation.
A motion put forth by Vice-Mayor Pete McCracken, seconded by Mayor Virginia Gurrola, to not review the proclamation process was promptly defeated.
A subsequent motion for the council to review the process at its next meeting, put forth by McCracken and seconded by Council Member Greg Shelton, passed 4-1, with Gurrola voting against.
McCracken then suggested voting on the proposed resolution to declare June 2013 “A Month of Community Charity and Goodwill to All in Porterville” at that night’s meeting, instead of the next meeting in July, earning an admonishment from the city’s attorney that such an action might potentially violate the Brown Act.
McCracken then moved to add two items to the next meeting’s agenda — one to consider rescinding the LGBT Pride Month proclamation, and another to declare June 2013 a Community Charity and Goodwill month — which passed, 4-1. Council Member Cameron Hamilton dissented.
Preceding the vote was an hour of public comment, divided into thirty-minute segments for both sides of the LGBT Pride Month debate, and nearly two hours of discussion and debate over other routine items on the council’s agenda.
Contingents of each side came to the microphone and gave impassioned arguments drawing from personal experience, religious viewpoints, and private opinions.
“The proclamation was granted under the banner of fairness … I am also in favor of fairness for all,” said Springville resident Cece Townsend. “Since we are all in agreement, if the proclamation is not rescinded, then under the banner of fairness and equality, I, as a heterosexual, would like a proclamation for July celebrating heterosexual pride.”
“Whether you rescind the proclamation or not, the attention has been brought to this issue and needs to be on it,” said Visalia resident Timothy Rich. “Giving a proclamation and taking it away is worse than never having given it at all.”
The matters of proclamation process review, LGBT Proclamation repeal, and Goodwill month will be addressed at the next City Council meeting on July 16.
Watch full coverage from the meeting below: