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In Los Altos,
cancer awareness, yes; gay pride, no

In Los Altos,
cancer awareness, yes; gay pride, no

Los Altos may be only a short distance south of San Francisco, but the city on the Bay Area peninsula is still wrestling with the issue of gay rights, made clear this week when the city council dumped a proposed gay pride day proclamation. The council's 3-2 decision banned all proclamations about sexual orientation, which put an abrupt end to the pride celebration.

Mayor Ron Packard told the SanJoseMercuryNews that the change spares the city council from "issuing proclamations on issues I consider divisive and not appropriate for our community."

The Gay-Straight Alliance of Los Altos High School first recommended the pride day proclamation in 2004, which the council passed along with a tolerance day. A year later, in front of a roomful of tearful students, the council rejected both the pride and tolerance days.

Councilman David Casas told the MercuryNews that the council then changed the city guidelines to discourage the students from bringing the subject up again. According to Casas, proclamations should be relevant to city business, though Los Altos has passed proclamations for Family Week and Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Undeterred, the students plan to bring up the pride day issue again this spring and are also interested in holding a parade. Former councilman King Lear, who lobbied for a gay pride day when he was in office, believes the city council is afraid of bringing the gay debate to the forefront again. "They're still embarrassed by their own bigotry,'' Lear said. "Gay pride day is not promoting sexual orientation. How many people would say 'I'm going to be gay' because they had a gay pride day? It's a day where you say, 'Hey, I'm not going to be ashamed.'" (

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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