Porterville LGBT Group Launched to Oppose Rescinding City’s First Ever Pro-Equality Proclamation

First pride month, Porterville CA First Pride Month Proclaimed June 4, 2013 By Porterville City Council, political efforts to rescind immediately follow[/caption]

Porterville, CA – Residents have launched Porterville Equality and Fairness For All (PEFA), a coalition of local LGBT organizations and allies, opposing the efforts of some city councilmembers to rescind a historic proclamation declaring June “LGBT Pride Month” in the city. The proclamation was issued on June 4th by Mayor Virginia Gurrola recognizing the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville.

“Mayor Gurrola took a brave stand against discrimination by supporting a proclamation acknowledging the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville, and for that we thank her,” said Barry Caplan, Coordinator of PEFA. “Now, some on the council find it necessary to rescind the proclamation, thereby rescinding acknowledgment of the city’s LGBT residents.”

June is celebrated as LGBT Month nation and statewide. On June 4th, Mayor Virginia Gurrola issued a Proclamation honoring the LGBT community for its longstanding volunteer work in mental health and other areas that has benefited the entire community.

Despite the routine of all councilmembers signing proclamations recognizing community members, every member of the council, except for Mayor Gurrola refused to follow standard protocol. They refused to shake the hands of the recipients and refused to sign the proclamation.

Council Members Brian Ward and Greg Shelton have agendized revisiting the Proclamation at the upcoming council meeting on June 18. Shelton aims to discuss the “process” of the Proclamation, despite Porterville’s process being the same or substantially the same as every other City in California. Ward proposes to rescind the Proclamation mid-month, and to replace it with a Resolution declaring “A Month Of Community Charity and Goodwill For All in Porterville”.

Porterville and its Council has a long history of anti-LGBT activism. In 2008 during the Prop 8 campaign, Ward offered a Resolution in favor of Prop 8, urging locals to vote to remove rights from themselves in order to harm a disfavored minority.… Read the rest

Porterville is a Christian City, locals and officials insist

Local citizen offended by pending  non-Christian invocation at City Council, affirms “Porterville is a Christian City

Yesterday I read in the Recorder that 17 cities will start their council meetings with a reading from Hindu Sand Script. This shocked me. Here in a nation that was founded by Christians with Christian principles, with a ceremony to dedicate this nation to God on the shores of this nation.

This discussion broke out online too over the weekend, worth reading indeed for the extensive duplicity of Porterville’s newly re-elected Councilman Cameron Hamilton.

I guess all the Jews, Singhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans, (arguably) Mormons, Native Americans, and people of many other or no religions at all are only allowed to live in Porterville due to the goodness of the local Christians. Good to know where at least some of the locals stand on this matter.… Read the rest

Local paper “disturbed” by low turnout, does not understand own role

…but I am not too shy to tell them some of the reasons:

See article here

Why didn’t people vote, especially when the city council made headlines more than once in the past year for antics better left to a vaudeville show or a sitcom.

Easy answer: Because the Recorder has abdicated its civic reporting responsibilities many times:

1) You posted a video of a TCSO officer misbehaving and admitting that he knew he was misbehaving. That was good. But it only lasted about 24 hours as a more senior TCSO officer asked the paper to pull the video, which you promptly did.

2) You have never pressed Councilmembers, especially those running for election on any controversial matters. The town has been hurt for almost 4 years as a result of Ward and Hamilton working to take away the rights of gays. And Hamilton’s flip-flop from his 2003 vote, when he pledged Council to work against what he urged the 2008 Council to do has never been reported. In fact, the Recorder took the page offline that reported the 9/2003 meeting I refer to.

3) Hamilton again: You have never followed up regarding his odd behavior during the arrest of the previous publisher of the Recorder.

4) You have never reported on the discovery, made quite plain on the Recorder facebook page by Case Lok and others, that Rodney Martin had posted materials with his view on the impropriety (to day the least) of the mixing of races in public and homophobic reasons why he homeschools his kids. Not only ought that have been news, but why he never mentioned it in his campaign ought to have been news as well.

5) You have never run or lent your voice to a sustained voter registration drive or get out the vote drive.… Read the rest

Porterville Homophobia Redux

From Queer Visalia, reporting homophobic club posts at Porterville College, since disappeared. But not before I could capture a screenshot from google cache on August 9, 2011 at about 5:30 PM local time.

A Storm Is Brewing in Porterville

Photo Credit: Porterville College

Joel Wiens, Ed.D., teaches Anatomy, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology at Porterville College.  He is also faculty adviser for the One In Christ Club on the campus.

A posting by that club on the College’s website has caught the eye of local gay rights activists, and will be the focus of efforts to get the clearly false information removed.

The posting starts out:

Homosexuality, at its root, is not a sexual problem – it is a gender-identity problem.

Four gay myths
1.  10% of the population is homosexual
2.  A person can be born gay.
3.  Once gay, always gay.
4.  Homosexuality is normal in every way.

The very first line exposes the mindset of the post.

Click on the image to see full size.… Read the rest