No one would mistake Porterville, CA, for San Francisco, either for its size or its acceptance of the LGBT community. In what looks like payback for her willingness to issue an LGBT Pride Proclamation, Porterville Mayor Virginia Gurrula was removed from her position by the City Council on a 3-2 vote. Vice Mayor Pete McCracken was also removed from his position; although McCracken opposed the proclamation, he supported Gurrula’s right to issue it.
Gurrula wasn’t given a reason for her dismissal from the mayor’s job (which is ceremonial), but all signs point to her issuing the Pride Proclamation. The City of Porterville officially supported Proposition 8 in 2008, so it’s hardly a bastion of acceptance. Gurrula’s support for the proclamation, which culminated in an ugly Council session where local residents unleashed a torrent of criticism. The City Council rescinded the proclamation two weeks later, on the grounds that the LGBT community shouldn’t be receiving “special consideration.”
“To remove somebody from a position is in effect saying you’re not doing the job we want you to do,” Gurrola told a local television station. “Well, then they need to clearly say why are they removing you.”
Seems pretty clear to us.
Photo credit: U.S. Conference of Mayors