MODESTO, Calif. (KTVU) - The mother of a gay man is among those planning a "Straight Pride" rally to be held in a Modesto, Calif. park, but there is a growing group of people – including her son -- trying to stop that gathering from happening.
"This isn't 'straight pride.' This is hate pride," Matthew Mason, 28, told Sacramento affiliate Fox 40. He is the adopted and estranged son of Mylinda Mason, who is one of the people spearheading the rally set for Aug. 24 in Graceada Park.
"This is the woman who raised me actively working against my rights as a human being, who I am as a person," Matthew Mason told FOX40.
He said he fears that the event put on by the National Straight Pride Coalition is more than just a celebration of heterosexuals. He worries it's a platform to divide and incite violence. Matthew Mason is planning to speak before the Modesto City Council on Wednesday to ask the council to deny the "straight pride group" a permit to assemble.
By coincidence, his birth mother is a city councilwoman, Fox 40 reports.
"Dog whistling to white supremacy, that is immediately inciting violence," he told Fox 40. "I am afraid of violence happening. I don't want anyone in my community to be hurt."
His mother said there is nothing sinister about her event. She said all she and her friends are doing are promoting the "God-ordained natural nuclear family," Christian values and the contributions of Western civilization on American society.
"It is again white Caucasians who did come to this country to start liberty and gave us the greatest Constitution in the world," Mylinda Mason told Fox 40.
Mylinda Mason is working with Bay Area chiropractor and longtime friend Don Grundmann on the event, the Modesto Bee reports.
Grundmann, 67, founded the National Straight Pride Coalition and its California chapter about four months ago, the latest in a series of groups he has formed over the years, including Citizens Against Perversion. But his protests have drawn few followers. He's also been a frequent but unsuccessful candidate for elected office for nearly 30 years, from school board to the presidency.
Despite what her son says, Mylinda Mason said that all are invited, and she wants the rally to be a peaceful gathering that brings people together.
"They're looking to amp it up into something that it's not," she said of her son and like-minded critics. "It's really going to be much more like on the purview of a church service really. It really is just celebrating our beautiful country."
But Matthew Mason – who told the Modesto Bee that he was no longer welcome at home when he came out at age 19 -- said that is simply not true. Just talk of the event is causing people pain and anguish and a rally like this doesn't belong in his hometown.
"This is not a positive message and this community is committed to positivity, to love, to inclusion and to diversity. And this message is none of that," he said.
Fox 40s's Bridgette Bjorlo contributed to this report. This story was written in Oakland, Calif.