Porterville Mayor, Removed From Office For LGBT Proclamation

The City Council of Porterville, California, removed Mayor Virginia Gurrola from office this week, allegedly due to her declaration that June be regarded as LGBT Pride Month in the town.

The governing body also removed Vice Mayor Pete McCracken from his position, placing city council members Cameron Hamilton and Brian Ward in the mayor and vice mayor seats, respectively.

Porterville, California, has a history of anti-LGBT sentiment and the town is reportedly the only one in California to officially support Proposition 8 in 2008.

When Gurrola attempted to pass a proclamation earlier this year that would identify June as LGBT Pride Month in Porterville, members of the community turned out in massive numbers at a public hearing to object.

One LGBT activist who attended the event noted:

That was one of the scariest and most horrific experiences of my life! I have never been in the same room with people (yes, multiple people) that actually called for my death and the systematic extermination of all LGBT people; I have never been surrounded by so many hateful people; and I have never been so proud of the LGBT community for maintaining respect and decorum and civility (and trust me it was difficult).

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