CATHOLIC MEDIA COALITION

 

Proclamation of Shame

City Council Honors Youth Pride

BY ALLYSON SMITH

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously May 4 to proclaim May 1, 2004 as "San Diego Youth Pride Day." The proclamation commended "San Diego Youth Pride for their commitment to San Diego's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth community."

South Bay Catholic council member Ralph Inzunza, who attends St. Joseph Cathedral and is a married father of a two-year-old son and pre-born infant, told Christians who spoke out against the proclamation to "deal with it" as he seconded the motion brought by homosexual council member Toni Atkins, a former abortion clinic director who represents the porn-infested neighborhood of Hillcrest.

Running for re-election this November against county supervisor Ron Roberts, Republican mayor Dick Murphy, and Michael Zucchet, were among the seven council members who approved the resolution. Council members Scott Peters and Jim Madaffer were absent.

Pro-family activists heard about the possibility of a proclamation while attending the Youth Pride events geared toward "ages 14-24." The festival included free giveaways of condoms, anal lubricant packets, copies of a gay erotic magazine, and free HIV testing for "ages 13 & older" provided by a taxpayer-funded San Diego County Health and Human Services van.

Phil Magnan, director of Chula Vista-based Biblical Family Advocates, issued a May 3 press release calling on Mayor Murphy and all city council members "to refuse to endorse events that expose children to homosexual activity that leads them into sexual promiscuity, life-threatening diseases and early death."

After learning of the Magnan's press release, Stephen Whitburn, president of the San Diego Democratic Club (the homosexual wing of the San Diego County Democrat Party) urged local gay activists to attend the council meeting.

James Hartline, a former homosexual who lives in Hillcrest, Magnan and I attended the city council meeting, where we spoke in opposition to the intended "Youth Pride" proclamation and were outnumbered 2-to-1 by homosexual activists speaking in favor.

Addressing the council that morning during the non-agenda public comment portion of the meeting, Hartline ripped the Center for refusing to let Christian youth into the event. "It should be noted that the gay and lesbian center has received millions of dollars in public funds," Hartline said. "All citizens have a right to tour that facility since they are paying for it. It should also be noted that the Center allows the gay church, Metropolitan Community Church, to hold its services on the property."

Hartline, who was hissed and booed by gay activists in attendance, concluded, "The gay and lesbian center missed an important opportunity to build a bridge between Hillcrest and the churches of San Diego County. I emphatically implore this city council to renounce this type of behavior and do not give a city proclamation honoring this type of hateful bigotry."

That afternoon, when the Youth Pride proclamation came up for agenda discussion, I spoke against it. I told the council, "The San Diego homosexual community consistently defines youth as ages '24 through 14' -- a definition which, by legal standards, allows for mixing adults with minors. In fact, at this event, a poster at the festival gate said it was open to ages '24 and under' with no lower age limit and we know of at least one 12-year-old girl who was admitted with no questions asked."

Magnan implored the San Diego City Council "to consider its responsibility to advocate on behalf of the youth of San Diego County and consider its role to see to it that the youth are protected from those lifestyles that lead to ruin and despair."

He talked about the risks of the homosexual lifestyle, with its high sexually transmitted disease rates and average death age of 42 for homosexual men. "I call on the San Diego City Council to reconsider its support for events that give sexual lubricants to 12-year-olds, teaches them anal intercourse, and subjects them to promiscuity at an age that they should be learning how to be involved in more wholesome activities that coincide with childhood and innocence. The vast majority of San Diegans do not want their children sexualized at an early age, nor do they want to vote for those kinds of community leaders that have a couldn't-care-less attitude about the protection of children from diseases that kill, immorality that degrades, and a life that ends in no hope."

In closing, Magnan reminded the council of Christ's warning that "those who lead children into sin have committed such a great sin that they might as well throw themselves into the ocean."

After Magnan and me, six homosexual activists led by Center director Delores Jacobs spoke in favor of the Youth Pride proclamation. The activists repeatedly stated that we "mischaracterized" the events and intent of Youth Pride.

Without refuting or addressing any of the facts regarding the condom, anal lubricant, and erotic magazine giveaways, Jacobs painted Youth Pride as a "fun" and "educational" event that "provides hundreds of questioning youth and their friends with an opportunity to participate in a safe, compassionate environment.

"It is true," Jacobs continued, "that adults who are not parents or guardians are not admitted to the festival site. It's a youth event.... In terms of admitting people who are or are not gay, people are admitted if they're parents or they're guardians with their youth. People are not admitted if they are adults not with their children."

In direct contradiction to eyewitnesses who saw Christians turned away from the Youth Pride gates, Jacobs said, "Many of our youth, and many members of our community are members of the communities of faith. We honor and celebrate that. We invite them to participate. Religious freedom is something we support."

Suanne Pauley, executive director of San Diego "Pride," spoke next admitting that a pre-teen child had gotten into the event, but said the child "was with their parent, and there was nothing at the festival that a 13-year-old could not view with their parental guardian with them."

Following speeches from several more homosexual activists and Youth Pride planners, District three council member Toni Atkins made the motion to approve the Youth Pride resolution. "I think it's easy to see today why I continue to be so proud of my community," Atkins began. "You know, there were years that we did not go out front and support the young people in our community because we were afraid that we would be deemed as pedophiles, as society has done that to us, that we would be perceived as people that abused children."

Before he seconded the motion, Ralph Inzunza, District 8 councilman, chastised the Christians in attendance for, among other things, wasting tax dollars protesting the proclamation. "I too go to church," he concluded, "as many of us here do. I go to church every Sunday with my wife and my child and soon to be another kid." (At a December 4, 2001 city council meeting, Inzunza stated that he attends Mass at Saint Joseph Cathedral pastored by auxiliary bishop Gilbert Chavez.) "Our whole approach is the more diverse the better. And I think that was God's intention. That's how he created it. So my advice to all of you is, deal with it."