DIXON, Calif. - The vice mayor of Dixon is under pressure to resign from office or face a recall effort after he called for "Straight Pride American Month" and referred to gay people as "tinker bells" in a newspaper column.
More than 1,000 people were as of Monday afternoon following the “Recall Ted Hickman, Vice Mayor of Dixon” Facebook page after Hickman wrote, what some are calling a homophobic, hateful piece for last Friday’s edition of Dixon’s Independent Voice and for his personal website, www.tedhickman.com.
The column begins by announcing that Hickman has proclaimed the month of July as “Straight Pride American Month,” where “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.”
Hickman’s column continues with the many ways the gay and lesbian community is “different” from the straight community.
“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 faries (sic) and prancing by the thousands in a parade in nearby San Francisco to be televised all over the world.”
Hickman’s words sparked outrage in the LGBTQ community.
“I was shocked, I was anger, I was frustrated, I was disgusted. This is my hometown, and its small town America but it’s also 2018,’’ said Beverly Kearney, the founder of the 5-year-old Love is Love Movement, which strives to promote that “all human love is equal and valid and should be celebrated.”
“When there is discrimination or hate, we stand up and fight back with love,’’ Kearney said. To that end, she and others are organizing a “LGBTQ Pride Day” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 28 at a to be determined location in Dixon.
“It’s going to be a gathering of the LGBTQ community and their allies to show that love is more powerful than hate,’’ said Kearney. “What this does is it sends a message to people like him, or people who have the same belief system, that this isn’t ok and that people aren’t going to just sit back and let hate speech reign. That people are going to fight the hate.”
There is also a protest planned for the next Dixon City Council meeting on July 10.
Hickman did not respond to a request from KTVU for an interview to discuss the column, his potential resignation or efforts to remove him from office.
But over the weekend Hickman told The Reporter newspaper in Vacaville that his column was written “tongue in check.”
“Don’t like what I write, don’t read it,” he told the newspaper.
He also said the he does not represent all Dixon residents equally.
“I do represent them equally on government issues, not their personal habits,” he told the newspaper. “I’m not elected to represent their lifestyle.”
He said a recall is unlikely since “the numbers aren’t there,” but added that he is up for re-election in November.
Dixon Mayor Thom Bogue, in a Facebook post, said the council has “no authority over another elected officials action. We can’t stop them from making statements, posting or writing articles, or opinion pieces and nor can we remove an elected person from office.”
But Heather Eckert, who launched the Facebook page to recall Hickman, said her group is willing to move forward with a recall if Hickman does not step down from office by the close of business Friday.
Eckert said a recall would cost the city and taxpayers money, something she’d like to avoid.
“We hope he’ll do the right thing and step down,’’ she said Monday.