Mayor who Signed LGBT Pride Month Proclamation Removed From Office in Porterville

September 19, 2013 By Jesse Melgar

After a 3-2 city council vote, Virginia Gurrola and Pete McCracken, former Porterville mayor and vice-mayor respectively, were removed from office and replaced by other members of the council. Former councilmember Cameron J. Hamilton now serves as mayor.

The three-member majority of Hamilton, Brian Ward and Greg Shelton are the same three-member majority who voted in July to rescind Gurrola’s proclamation of June as LGBT Pride Month in Porterville.

Porterville was the only city in California to issue an official resolution of support for Prop. 8 in 2008. Cameron Hamilton and Brian Ward were on the council then and voted in support of that resolution.

The three council members who voted to remove Gurrola and McCracken have not stated why they removed the mayor and vice-mayor, though Hamilton denies it had anything to do with LGBT issues. “If the LGBT community thinks that, then that’s just what they’re going to have to think,” Hamilton told ABC Action News.

Mayor Gurrola believes that the underlining issue was the LGBT proclamation.

“To remove somebody from a position is in effect saying you aren’t doing the job we want you to do…they need to clearly say why they’re removing you,” said Gurrola.

EQCA thanks Gurrola for standing up in support of the city’s LGBT community and acknowledging their vast contributions. We are closely monitoring the situation.

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