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UPDATE 24 JULY 2020 1:00PM: The initial post identified Matthew Mason as the organizer of the counter-protest, but it was Chris Holland who organized the event, while Matthew later agreed to be a marshall.
Mylinda Mason and Don Grundmann’s National Straight Pride Coalition are returning to Modesto on 29 August 2020 to hold the Second Annual Stanislaus County Straight Pride Event. Mason and Grundmann’s first Straight Pride Parade was marred with complications and family drama.
Mylinda Mason is a longtime anti-choice Christian conservative who has organized protests outside of Planned Parenthood for over two decades. Don Grundmann, a chiropractor in the Bay Area, is a Christian street preacher conservative who has attempted to form multiple organizations over his life, with most drawing little support. He’s also run for a variety of public office multiple times, losing all campaigns. His newest queerphobic project, the National Straight Pride Coalition, claims to embrace heterosexuality, “Whiteness/Caucasian,” “Western civilization,” “Christianity,” and “Nationalism.” During a Modesto council meeting on 07 Aug. 2019, Don Grundmann called his organization “a totally peaceful, racist group," a slip of the tongue he quickly tried to back track. But one need only look at his website to see the white supremacy he and Mylinda advocate, along with conspiracies such as LGBTQIA2+ organizations are fronts for pedophilia.
Though Don Grundmann and Mylinda Mason are the main organizers, they receive support from local churches and volunteers, usually having multiple people present during interviews to explain their goals. One such person is pastor David Preston Bush, pastor at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church in Sonora, CA, where he also “serves the community as chaplain for Sonora Police Department and Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office." It is concerning that a chaplain for law enforcement departments is an active participant and organizer of a “peaceful, racist group”.
A playlist of interviews featuring Don Grundmann, Mylinda Mason, and David Bush can be watched here.
Upon announcement, the first event held on 24 Aug. 2019 was met with severe backlash from locals. A counter-protest was organized by Chris Holland, a resident of Modesto, who documented the event at www.StraightPrideIsHatePride.com. Mylinda found herself further estranged from her adopted gay son, Matthew Mason, who was a marshal for a counter-protest against his mother, calling her ideology, “white supremacy." Don Grundmann was unable to get the needed permits to hold the parade he envisioned. They did manage to book Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a Black far-right Christian demagogue who has a laundry list of controversies, such as praising neo-nazi podcasters or saying children born from sexual-assault should be raised by the rapist.
Being denied permits, the day of the Straight Pride Parade, Grundmann and cohorts were forced to retreat to a barn, which the owner of kicked them out upon learning the nature of the event. After getting kicked out of the barn they protested outside a closed Planned Parenthood where they were met with counter-protesters. The counter-protesters outnumbered Grundmann’s attendees.
According to the flyer Mylinda posted on her personal Facebook on 23 Jul. 2020 the event details are as follows:
“When: Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 - 12:00pm-2:00pm
Where: Planned Parenthood, McHenry Ave., Modesto, CA
Event Grand Marshall: Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson”
Capitalizing on the national discussion surrounding Black Lives Matter, the event is taking an “ALL LIVES MATTER” position, and focusing on the “white supremacy of Planned Parenthood” arguing they are committing a “Black genocide.” Jesse Lee Peterson is returning.
Details for the Second Annual Straight Pride Event are still sparse, nor are any counter-protests currently being discussed. I’ll continue updating with new posts as information becomes available.
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