Participant in 2006 San Diego Pride Festival

After hearing fervent opposition, the San Diego City Council unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Mayor Jerry Sanders to designate July as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month.”

Previous resolutions have honored the “gay pride” festival held each July in San Diego, but this apparently is the city’s first to designate an entire month, according to festival representatives. The council did approve a Lesbian and Gay Archives Month” in 1992. President Clinton declared June 2000 to be “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” is the U.S.

Council President Scott Peters and member Toni Atkins introduced the resolution along with the mayor.

The council allowed open commentary prior to the resolution vote Tuesday, including opposition from James Hartline, who brought about 35 supporters. Hartline, a former homosexual who says he participated in “pride” events in 1998, expressed deep disappointment that the city is honoring an event “opposed by thousands of San Diegans.”

Hartline told council members of the festival’s involvement with homosexual porn companies such as the F Street Book store, “raunchy S & M classes” held in city-owned Balboa Park, the showcasing of porn stars such as Tommy Blade, promotion of “gay” bath houses and public nudity.

Hartline also reminded the council that last year it would not allow him to show “photographs in (your) chamber which document the filth inside of the San Diego Gay Pride parade and festival.”

As WND reported, Hartline plans to run for Atkins’ seat in 2008.

Proponents of the resolution also were passionate about their views.

One speaker said the festival “demonstrated true family values.” Another emphasized the importance of tolerance and celebrating events that bring people in the “gay” community together.

Atkins and Peters spoke of the financial benefits the events bring to San Diego. Sanders thanked organizers for “work(ing) so hard to put on one of the best celebrations in our city.”

The mayor’s office did not reply to requests for comment.

Prior to the event, an opponent, Priscilla Schreiber, looked at council member Brian Maienshein and challenged him to follow his religious convictions instead of approving the resolution. Schreiber said the city was legitimizing an event “that is highly offensive” and robs children “of their innocence and purity.”

As the vote was taken, Peters said he “looks forward to the day where a resolution (like this) is not controversial.”

The American Family Association tried to rally local constituents prior to the vote.

One disappointed pastor, Ray Bentley of Maranatha Chapel, said he “was offended” by the vote and intends to write the mayor a letter voicing his concern.

Another pastor, Leo Giovinetti of Mission Valley Christian Fellowship, was the only clergy member to appear at City Hall in opposition to the resolution. He was not allowed to speak because of time restrictions.

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