California official refuses to apologise for ‘straight pride month’ column

The vice mayor of Dixon, California, has ignored calls to resign from his post and apologise after he proclaimed July as “Straight Pride American Month” in a newspaper column.

Ted Hickman declared July as a month to celebrate heterosexuals in a bizarre article on his personal blog, which was also published in local paper Independent Voice.

His piece outraged many, prompting a recall effort – a procedure when elected officials can be removed from office following a vote – with the creation of a “Recall Ted Hickman” Facebook page, which currently has more than 1,800 ‘likes.’

Dixon was confronted about his remarks at a city council meeting on Tuesday, with some citizens calling for him to say sorry and others demanding that he steps down.

But, responding to their complaints, Dixon maintained his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

However, he suggested that he should not have expressed his views in the capacity of his position as vice mayor of Dixon, and instead should have made it clear that they were his personal feelings on the subject.

“If I were to rewind time and write the column again, I would not use the words – sarcastically or not – of vice mayor, because I see where that may be unacceptable to some. That’s all I have to say,” said Dixon, according to CBS Sacramento. 

A resident from Dixon, Alex Lopez, responded to the vice mayor, saying: “I care for you Mr. Hickman, I care about what you say, about what you write, about what you do. So, I ask that you do something good for the community and resign.”

The meeting room was packed with people who objected to Hickman’s article, with many more protesting outside.

There was, however, one lone supporter of Hickman’s views defending the vice mayor outside.

Hickman has faced calls to step down in response to his article (QuentenVoyce/Twitter)

Hickman wrote in his controversial article article: “Now before anyone gets their pantyhose in a knot, this is not really legallyanti anything; instead it’s pro-family; and proud to be a straight American, and me expressing a private opinion… So there!”

The Californian official added: “Now hundreds of millions of the rest of us can celebrate our month, peaking on July 4, as healthy, heterosexual, fairly monogamous, keep our kinky stuff to ourselves, Americans… We do it with our parades in every state and county in this country with families celebrating together.”

He also described Pride month as “LGBTQF-WTF month,” adding that it was an event that saw “tens of thousands of folks dancing and prancing all over American celebrating the fact they are different than most of the rest of us and showing their “pride” in being so.”

The Facebook group ‘Recall Ted Hickman’ has urged mayor of Dixon Thom Bogue to respond to Hickman’s article with a statement.

Campaigners are calling for Ted Hickman to step down following his article (Recall Ted Hickman, Vice Mayor of Dixon, CA/Facebook)

Later in his article, Hickman said: “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 “show we are different” type of crap. We ARE different from them…We work, have families, (and babies we make) enjoy and love the company (and marriage) of the opposite sex and don’t flaunt our differences dressing up like faries and prancing by the thousands in a parade in nearby San Francisco to be televised all over the world.”

The vice mayor defended his article in an interview with The Sacramento Bee, telling the local paper: “It was tongue-in-cheek and had nothing to do with my elected position [and that] thin-skinned people took offense.”