Porterville city council meeting ends in arrests

City rescinds mayor's LGBT proclamation

PORTERVILLE, Calif. - Porterville police arrested several protestors for disrupting a council meeting.  

According to reports, they were upset about the rejection of a proclamation to call, June 2013, LGBT Pride Month. 

Supporters said Mayor Virginia Gurrola's passage of the proclamation last month promoted tolerance or safe guarded them against discrimination.

"Gay pride was not born out of a need to celebrate being gay," said a supporter. "So instead of wondering why there wasn't a Straight Pride Movement, be thankful that you don't need one."

Opponents said when the mayor passed it, she did so without the signatures of the majority of her city council members. They argue she was abusing her power and ignoring the will of the community.

"The Christians of this community believe that God's Holy Bible is true," said Trina Leon of Porterville. "For us to accept this proclamation would be calling God's word, the Holy Bible, a lie."

Moments before the vote, the mayor struggled to keep order in the chambers and at times even faced some very public opposition from her own council.

Three council members voted to cancel the proclamation and replace it with a resolution to call June 'a month of community charity and goodwill to all in Porterville.' That decisions caused an emotional uproar and the mayor to walk out.

The council also voted in favor of changing the process of creating proclamations in the city.