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Call for 'Straight Pride America Month' leads to town protest against vice mayor

Ted Hickman is the vice mayor of Dixon, CA, south of Sacramento. (Source: KCRA/CNN) Ted Hickman is the vice mayor of Dixon, CA, south of Sacramento. (Source: KCRA/CNN)

DIXON, CA (KCRA/CNN) - A California community is calling for an official’s resignation after he proposed a “Straight Pride America Month” in a local newspaper column.

People gathered to tell Dixon Vice Mayor Ted Hickman - face to face - that the way he thinks and writes about gay people is out of line.

They also said his words are not representative of the community or its values. They came with their flags, colorful costumes, and even a snowcone machine.

"Elected officials need to be a representative of the entire community," said Anthony St. Amant, a protester.

In his column, Hickman wrote, "We are different from them ...We work, have families (and babies we make) and don't flaunt our differences dressing up like faries (sic) ..."

Hickman addressed the city council, saying it's his right to express his opinion.

"I didn't give up my First Amendment right when I became an elected official,” Hickman said.

Police added an increased presence at the meeting. However, those who’d gathered in the small agricultural community stayed peaceful while pushing back.

"It would be appropriate for the city to issue an official apology," one person at the city council meeting said.

"Remove Mr. Hickman from any leadership position," said another.

A college at the newspaper, the Dixon Independent Voice, said Hickman frequently caused controversy with his column.

"It's typical Ted,” said Michael Ceremello, another columnist for the paper. “He has a very strange sense of humor."

Ceremello said it isn't the first time the vice mayor has caused controversy.

"He does blonde jokes, people don't like the blonde jokes,” he said. “We've lost advertisers over that, but that's just his style."

The four other council members - including the mayor - all spoke out against Hickman.

Two of them asked the city attorney to come up with a list of disciplinary actions they can take against him.

Hickman has been writing columns for 14 years and will have another one in the paper published Friday.

Copyright 2018 KCRA via CNN. All rights reserved.

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