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.”

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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. 

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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