A California Politician Called For a Straight Pride Month. It Didn’t Go Well.

“Now hundreds of millions of the rest of us can celebrate our month.”

Getty

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Ted Hickman is, at the moment, vice mayor of Dixon, California, a small city about 30 minutes outside Sacramento. He’s straight, he’s proud, and he wants the world to know it, according to a snarky newspaper piece he wrote in the town paper, the Independent Voice, in which he objected to a nearby college’s announcement that it would, like the rest of the world, mark June as LGBT Pride Month.

“Now hundreds of millions of the rest of us can celebrate our month, peaking on July 4th as healthy, heterosexual, fairly monogamous, keep our kinky stuff to ourselves, Americans,” the 74-year-old Hickman wrote in his regular Voice column. “We do it with our parades.  We honor our country and our veterans who have made all of this possible (including for the tinker bells) and we can do it with actual real pride, not some put on show just to help our inferior complex.”

The column didn’t go over too well. Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg has called on Hickman to resign, and nearly 30,000 people have signed a petition calling for his removal. Last week, 200 people showed up to a Dixon city council meeting on the matter, including a local pastor named Jeff Myers.

“[His] words not only misrepresent the values of the vast majority of our city, they ascribe to us an ignorance and a closed-mindedness that most of us would fight to the death to avoid,” Myers said, according to a Facebook post via the Washington Post. “This is not a free-speech issue.”

According to the Sacramento Bee, Hickman’s column has long contained derogatory language, including content targeting Muslims. A Recall Ted Hickman Facebook group is planning a rally on July 24 to coincide with an upcoming city council meeting. 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest