The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) is condemning what it calls “double-standard bigotry” against members of the Pink Pistols, a pro-gun gay organization, by organizers of a Gay Pride event in Columbus, Ohio June 27.
Following their participation in a Gay Pride parade, members of the Central Ohio Pink Pistols chapter-who were carrying sidearms openly, as allowed by the Ohio Constitution and recently affirmed by the state Supreme Court-were confronted by a contingent from Stonewall Columbus at Bicentennial Park. The group’s leader demanded that they surrender their firearms. Prior to the parade, the Pink Pistols had been warned via e-mail by Stonewall Columbus Executive Director Kate Anderson, “Should anyone bring a firearm (to) this Stonewall Columbus event, the firearm will be confiscated and not returned and the individual will be rejected from the event. I have notified all Pride Committee members and co-chairs and I will also alert all security personnel and the police.”
“It is remarkable,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron in reaction to Anderson’s message, “that an organization which has fought bigotry against gays and lesbians would, itself, be so eager to practice social bigotry against members of its own community for merely exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.
“Adding to the irony,” he continued, “is that Anderson earlier this year angrily suggested that Ohio residents and lawmakers who had supported the Ohio Defense of Marriage Act, ‘take (their) message of hate and bigotry and get out of Ohio’. Anderson and Stonewall Columbus need to realize that discrimination against gun owners is also bigotry. How does it look when a gay rights organization tells gay and lesbian gun owners ‘We don’t want your kind around here?’
“Perhaps most stunning about this situation,” Waldron observed, “is that the Pink Pistols promote armed self-defense against the kind of mindless brutality that manifested itself in the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. How any organization claiming to represent the rights of gay citizens could exclude the right of self-defense in that equation is astonishing. We believe Stonewall Columbus owes the Pink Pistols an apology, and a promise to practice the tolerance it preaches with such righteous indignation at all future Gay Pride events.”