Watch: City Councilor in Oregon Town Slams Pride Month as 'Discriminatory'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday June 23, 2021

A recently-elected city councilor in the Oregon town of Newberg responded to a proclamation affirming Pride Month by calling the LGBTQ celebration "discriminatory" and questioned why Christians don't have their own special month, the Portland Tribune reports.

The city councilor, Mike McBride, slammed the proclamation at the city council's June 7 meeting, the news source said.

In a video clip of the city council meeting that has since circulated online, McBride asks if the proclamation should have received a vote. After being advised by a city lawyer that it did not, McBride responded, "Okay, well, I just want to go on record that I am against this."

"I'm not gonna raise one group over another group of people," he added. "I think that's discrimination."

"McBride's comments prompted a swift rebuttal from Mayor Rick Rogers, who expressed his support for the LGBTQ community," the Portland Tribute noted.

"There are groups in our community, in all communities, that have been significantly mistreated over their lifetimes," Mayor Rogers says in the video clip, adding, "Whether that is sexual orientation... whether it is race... whether it is religion."

Rogers continued: "Anyone who denies that, I am sorry, I cannot sit idly by."

A week after his initial comments, the news report notes, McBride doubled down. "Why don't we celebrate Christian Heritage Month? Our country was founded on Christian principles and our city and college was founded on Christian principles.

"Let's have a German heritage month while we're at it," said McBride. "This political correctness is just ridiculous."

Fellow councilor Elise Yarnell Hollamon spoke out against McBride's comments, saying, "I think there is absolutely room for differing opinions on city policy concerns, but when it comes to divisive rhetoric that could make marginalized groups in our community feel unsafe, there is no room for that."

Hollaman added, "As a White Christian myself, I do not need a month to celebrate me."

Remy Drabkin, an organizer of local Pride events and an LGBTQ winemaker who had addressed the council prior to McBride's remarks, went on Facebook to offer her take.

"He wanted to make the queer community feel unwelcome and unwanted," Drabkin posted, going on to say that calling it "'discriminatory' to recognize pride is one of the current favorite dog whistles being used against LGBTQ+ rights.

"It works because it isn't that offensive to some other straight folks while signaling to likeminded bigots that they are OK in their bigotry," Drabkin continued. "This narrative is the reason a small group of white supremacists started 'straight pride' in Boston a couple years back."

McBride said he's entitled to his opinion, but added that, "unfortunately, these days, if you have a different point of view from someone else, they will try and crucify you."

Watch the clip from the city council meeting below:

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.