Calls to for the vice mayor of Dixon, Calif., to step down hit a fever pitch over the weekend following a post to his blog in which he called for Straight Pride American Month, or "SPAM" as he unironically called it. In his wildly homophobic post, Dixon Vice Mayor Ted Hickman gleefully clung to the differences between straight and gay people, referring to LGBT people as “tinker bells,” “fairies,” and men in “skin tight short-shorts and go-go boots.”
Hickman posted his column — in which he called Pride month “LGBTQF-WTF month” — on Friday, and by the following morning, calls proliferated for him to step down from his public position in the city of 20,000, just south of Sacramento.
Dixon mayor Thom Bogue responded swiftly to his vice mayor’s hateful post, saying he doesn’t approve of the content, but also, invoking the first amendment as a reason to allow the post to stand.
"While I do not approve of such an article — in my belief we are all American U.S. citizens where sexual [preference] shouldn't play a role — I do believe in a person's freedom of speech even when I don't like what they are saying," Bogue said, according to SF Gate. "Aside from that, a person also has to recognize the consequences of their statements. ... It is not within my capabilities to sanction an elected official for what they wish to publish in the paper, nor would I, that is up to constituents within his district to determine if he represents their beliefs."
But Bogue’s statements did not sit well with LGBT activists who’ve not only called for Hickman to resign but are also planning a protest at an upcoming city council meeting.
“Mayor Bogue, we have received your response to your constituents however, we feel the need to remind you that this is not a First Amendment issue but a human rights issue, as Your Vice Mayor is wishing your LGBTQ constituents out of existence,” activists wrote on the Facebook page calling for Hickman to step down. “What do you plan to do to ensure your LGBTQ constituents (and their sons and daughters), current and future residents of Dixon, are safe from this brand of bigotry?”
Hickman’s post was blatant in its rebuke of LGBT people, complete with stereotypes, name-calling, and a sense of straight superiority.
"If you remember last week I proclaimed the Month of July as SPAM …(Straight Pride American Month)…(as Vice Mayor don’t know if I can, but what the heck),” Hickman wrote. “Now hundreds of millions of the rest of us can celebrate our month, peaking on July 4th, as healthy, heterosexual, fairly monogamous, keep our kinky stuff to ourselves, Americans… We do it with our parades in every state and county in this country with families celebrating together.”
The vice mayor, who is up for reelection in November, went on to insult LGBT people, while elevating hackneyed ideas about heterosexual superiority.
“We are different from them… We work, have families, (and babies we make) enjoy and love the company (and marriage) of the opposite sex and don’t flaunt our differences dressing up like fairies and prancing by the thousands in a parade in nearby San Francisco to be televised all over the world,” Hickman wrote.
Responding to Hickman’s hate speech, the group calling for his resignation pressed Bogue to take action.
“Pieces such as Hickman’s can lend themselves to an increase in self-harm ideation amongst LGBTQ individuals. How does hate reconcile with public office, especially in light of state statutes that strictly prohibit such behavior?” the group wrote. “We look forward to a statement that does not side-step the base issue.”
At least one of Hickman's colleagues on the city council, Devon Minnema, spoke out about the offensive post.
"I have known what kind of person he is for a long time, but have never garnered enough community or council support to take action," Minnema wrote on Facebook. "I hope that the other councilmen will see through the ideology of hate that they share with him, and do the right thing in coming weeks. There is no part of the community that is untouched by the venom that Councilman Hickman has spewed over the years."
Hickman responded to outrage at his hateful post with more name calling saying that "only thin-skinned people took offense," according to the Sacramento Bee.