In 2008, the City of Porterville became the only elected government body in the state of California to pass a resolution in support of Proposition 8, the state initiative that stole the right to marry from lesbian and gay Californians. That single act by the City Council spurred the growth of LGBT activism in Porterville that will, on Tuesday June 4, result in the current City Council declaring June LGBT Pride Month!
At the council meeting on Tuesday, at 6pm, the citizens of Porterville, especially the LGBT community, can take pride in how far they have come in only five years.
Visalia set the standard last year, with the first such proclamation in the Valley. On Monday, June 3, Visalia will repeat that historic act, issuing a proclamation declaring June 2013 LGBT Pride Month in Visalia. Tuesday, June 4 will see Porterville join this movement, when they issue their LGBT Pride Month proclamation.
There have been big changes in Porterville in the past five years. The Prop 8 vote was, perhaps, the height of anti-gay rhetoric in the city. In August 2011, a posting was discovered on the Porterville College website, placed there by a college Christian club. The posting was about homosexuality, and was a long and factually incorrect dissertation against LGBT relationships of every kind. The posting was a cut-and-paste directly from a popular anti-gay group’s site. To the college’s credit, as soon as local activists discovered this posting, and made the administration aware of it, it was removed within hours. An anti-gay protestor, a former Porterville resident who returns on occasion to stand on street corners with repulsive signs identical to the hate-filled Wesboro Baptist Church’s, still makes appearances and writes letters-to-the-editor denouncing homosexuality. (as with every other anti-gay protestor, he doesn’t seem interested in protesting divorce in front of the courthouse, or against lobster dinners at famous restaurant chains. It’s only the gay thing that brings him out to stand on street corners. Makes one wonder why.)
Porterville City Hall may see the largest crowd it’s ever hosted for a City Council meeting this Tuesday. Along with Porterville’s large and diverse LGBT community, those of us from around the county will be joining them at this truly historic event.
Porterville City Hall 291 N. Main Street. Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 6pm.