Placerville, Calif., is a small city in the old Gold Rush country, far from the San Francisco Bay Area (the Babylon of the West), about 100 miles to the east.
Placerville is, as of February 8, a "Hate-Free Zone," as reported in the samizdat publication San Francisco Faith (April). According to the Faith: A group calling itself GaymarriageNO has been placing pickup trucks bearing the message Homosexuality is a sin around town; the trucks also have signs showing two kissing men circumscribed by the universal no symbol. GaymarriageNO members have also been active passing out literature on city streets and in front of schools, as well as hanging signs over a highway overpass and urging boycotts of businesses that advertise in homosexual publications.
We followed up on this story. Supporting Mayor Roberta Colvins proclamation of Placerville as a Hate-Free Zone was Steve Bryant, the leader of the El Dorado [County] Community Roundtable on Human Rights, who said: Do we want them [visitors] to associate Placerville with statements like Homosexuality is sin ? Do we want to be known as the town where this is tolerated and accepted? Of course the answer is NO.
The Faith reports: Among the supporters of the Placerville proclamation is the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, primarily because GaymarriageNOs demonstrations are bad for tourism. Signs expressing hate of a specific lifestyle are not a way to greet people, a Chamber board member told the [Sacramento] Bee. Chamber chief executive Laurel Brent-Bumb said she has received calls and e-mail messages from people expressing frustration and angst over the derogatory signs.
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