Same-Sex Marriage Opponent Confronted After California GOP Convention: Complaint

Same-Sex Marriage Opponent Confronted After California GOP Convention: Complaint

San Diego County Republican Jordan Gascon on a shuttle bus leaving the California GOP Spring Training on May 19, 2024. (Courtesy of Shaun Frederickson)

Nathan Worcester

Nathan Worcester

5/26/2024

Updated: 5/26/2024

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BURLINGAME, Calif.—Disagreement over same-sex marriage sparked a profanity-laced confrontation on a shuttle bus after the California GOP Spring Training, according to a complaint filed by Pastor Gary Cass with the San Diego GOP.
Mr. Cass’s complaint alleges that when he sat down on the bus on May 19, a man who was at that time unfamiliar to him, began cursing and “profanely berating me as a ‘[expletive] bigot’ and threatened that ‘I would never be a delegate to the party again.’”
According to the letter, that man turned out to be Jordan Gascon, outgoing executive director of the San Diego County GOP.
A delegate to the convention, Mr. Cass asserted in the letter that Mr. Gascon had declared that individuals with same-sex attraction “control the San Diego and Orange County Republican Parties.'”
Shaun Frederickson, another delegate, corroborated Mr. Cass’s account to The Epoch Times. Mr. Frederickson provided an image and video clips showing Mr. Gascon berating Mr. Cass, who is off camera.
“Gary was kind of on the defens[ive],” Mr. Frederickson recalled.
The Epoch Times reached out over LinkedIn to the woman who appears to be depicted in the footage captured by Mr. Frederickson. She did not respond to a message there.
Mr. Gascon’s alleged comments came after Mr. Cass spoke out against Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, better known as ACA 5.
ACA 5, which will be on Californians’ ballots in November, would strip language added to the state constitution in 2008 through Proposition 8. That measure defined marriage in California as being “between a man and a woman.”
Although the Supreme Court mandated recognition of same-sex marriage in 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, its increasingly conservative complexion has led some to believe the law could change.
“Next fall, Californians will reject the assault on LGBTQ rights that bigoted, ideological justices have launched from the Supreme Court,” California State Sen. Scott Wiener (D) said after his chamber advanced the measure in a 31–0 vote last year.
Those 31 yea votes included one Republican, State Sen. Scott Wilk. All seven of the heavily Democrat-controlled chamber’s other Republicans did not vote nay. Instead, they were simply absent.
The vote at the state GOP convention on May 19 was over whether to remain neutral on ACA 5. Mr. Cass was among those who wanted his party to oppose the proposed amendment. While some spoke in favor of neutrality during the session, he spoke against it.
“There’s some things in life we can’t be neutral about,” he said in his remarks, comparing his position to that of early Republicans who fought to end the enslavement of black Americans and arguing that the legalization of same-sex marriage “has created chaos in the family.”
“We cannot afford to alienate the people of faith in our party, including and especially the huge Hispanic community that we have to move into the Republican Party,” he added.
Benito Bernal, a Latino delegate to the gathering, agreed.
“If the church doesn’t move the Republican Party on this position, thousands of Democrats on the fence will refuse to join our side,” Mr. Bernal told The Epoch Times.
Ultimately, however, the neutral position won out. Mr. Gascon allegedly railed against Mr. Cass after Mr. Cass had already lost.
Mr. Gascon resigned as his county party’s executive director in May about a month after the party’s previous chair, Paula Whitsell, stepped down. But his resignation isn’t effective until June, after which he is slated to join the office of Republican Jordan Marks, San Diego County’s assessor/recorder/county clerk.
“Rest assured, I am fully committed to ensuring a seamless transition during my remaining time at the Republican Party of San Diego County,” Mr. Gascon said in a resignation letter reproduced by the Times of San Diego.
When asked whether Mr. Gascon should be able to join the county office, Mr. Frederickson, the witness to the shuttle bus confrontation, had a simple response.
“No, of course not,” he said.
Mr. Cass sent the complaint regarding Mr. Gascon to San Diego Republican Party Chairman Corey Gustafson on May 22.
Mr. Gustafson and the California GOP did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The Epoch Times.
The Epoch Times repeatedly emailed an email address associated with Mr. Gascon and left a message on his answering machine. He has not yet responded.
The drama on the shuttle to San Francisco International Airport capped off a relatively quiet weekend at the largest state’s GOP convention.
Republican Steve Garvey was absent from the gathering. Mr. Garvey, a retired professional baseball player who will face Democrat Adam Schiff in this fall’s Senate race after narrowly losing to him in March’s “jungle primary,” is a supporter of same-sex marriage.
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Nathan Worcester

Nathan Worcester

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Nathan Worcester covers national politics for The Epoch Times and has also focused on energy and the environment. Nathan has written about everything from fusion energy and ESG to Biden's classified documents and international conservative politics. He lives and works in Chicago. Nathan can be reached at nathan.worcester@epochtimes.us.

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