Council's Declaration Angers San Diego Pride Opponents
6:36 AM, Jul 16, 2009
San Diego Pride returns this weekend with a parade and a two-day festival.On Tuesday, San Diego city councilman Todd Gloria awarded a proclamation that declared July as Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Month."And this proclamation is standing in line with proclamations on Cesar Chavez, for Martin Luther King," said city councilman Carl DeMaio.Before the proclamation was awarded, more than a dozen members of the gay community thanked the council for supporting this weekend's Gay Pride festivities.A group led by James Hartline denounced the celebration and has asked the city council to oppose San Diego Pride, saying it promotes pornography and sin."I have pictures that I'll be glad to provide for you where we have pictures of women showing completely their breasts," said Hartline.Catcalls came from the council audience, apparently from members of the gay community. A Pride organizer said they are tired of the same old rhetoric."We see this every year. As a matter of fact, this was less heated than usual," said Phil Princetta of San Diego LGBT Pride.San Diego police had to escort one man out after he yelled at the council for supporting Pride. He was allowed back in and sat silently in prayer as the council unanimously supported the proclamation.Pride organizers said they try to make sure all participants follow the city's policies on public behavior."We ourselves make sure that every single contingent in the parade has a copy of that policy and understands that it is not acceptable," said Princetta.Hartline said he doubts it, and said San Diego Pride would die if it wasn't for people behaving badly."If they took all the pornography out of it, all the loose nudity and all those things, they wouldn't have too many people even showing up to the event," said Hartline.Hartline said the council is entirely too gay-friendly. He also called councilwoman Sherri Lightner a hypocrite because she used to be a Sunday school teacher."If you're not proud of telling them that in your Sunday school class, why are you so glad to do it here?" said Hartline.Several opponents of San Diego Pride verbally attacked the council. At one point, DeMaio -- who is openly gay -- smiled without making a comment."For them to get up there and to join in that verbal attack as elected officials, I think really is appalling," said Hartline.Hartline's Web site said he is HIV positive and overcame homosexuality."The reality is that I was involved in the homosexual life for 30 years. I live in the homosexual community now and so I am day-in and day-out there," said Hartline.Hartline contracted HIV through a drug addiction he said he also overcame.City officials said 160,000 people are expected to attend this weekend's Pride festivities.