Santa Ana Councilman Wants No Discrimination at City Events

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Santa Ana City Councilman David Benavides (right). Councilman Sal Tinajero is to his left. (Photo by: Violeta Vaquiero)

Santa Ana City Councilman David Benavides Monday night called on the city attorney to review city policies for issuing public events permits to ensure that event organizers can't block groups from participating based on their being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The intention is to prevent accusations of discrimination that arose when LGBT groups were excluded from a Vietnamese traditional parade in Westminster.

Westminster officials last year outsourced organization of the Little Saigon Tet Parade, a traditionally a city event, to private Vietnamese groups. The groups ignored an application from LGBT groups who had been participating in the parade since 2010.

That year, several religious organizations spoke out against their participation, and two Catholic groups withdrew from the event.

An Orange County Superior Court judge last month allowed Vietnamese community groups to deny the application.

Benavides said he wants to make sure that Santa Ana policies prevent such discrimination from occurring in the city, even in private events. He said that he would like the council to be presented with an anti-discrimination ordinance if the protection does not yet exist.

— BRENDAN WILES

Please contact Brendan Wiles directly at brendan.wiles@gmail.com.

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