Matthew Mason, the openly gay son of a woman organizing a Straight Pride event in Modesto, Calif., is working to have the event canceled.
The Straight Pride event is scheduled for Aug. 24 at Graceada Park’s Mancini Bowl.
Matthew, 28, is the adopted son of co-organizer Mylinda Mason. He is planning to speak with the Modesto city council next week to ask them to deny organizers a permit for Graceada Park. Mason is also planning a candlelight vigil before the meeting.
“We don’t want hate in Modesto,” Matthew told the Modesto Bee. “I am making sure Modesto is not a place for hate speech.”
City spokesman Thomas Reeves told the Modesto Bee the council is still waiting to hear from organizers if a parade will be included in the event. Reeves also noted that city staff, not the council, approves park reservations.
Matthew says he expects the event “will have a small, pitiful turnout—they are a fringe group.” However, organizers have planned on an estimated 500 attendees.
Mylinda says “intolerance does not come from our side.”
“We are more than happy to see they are going to have a candlelight vigil. We are not happy they are going to try to shut down our side and deny us peaceable assembly. It’s obvious we have two opposing views. It’s the other side that wants the opposing view shut down. It’s not our side,” Mylinda told the Modesto Bee.
Matthew shared that he became estranged from his mother when he came out at 19.
Mylinda claims that the separation is due to Matthew’s feelings and not her own.
“I would say it’s heartbreaking,” Mylinda says of their estrangement. “Any parent feels this way.”