U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis for permission to illuminate the Sunshine Skyway with rainbow colors to honor LGBTQ Pride Month.
In a letter to DeSantis on Monday, Crist asked DeSantis to consider the proposition after COVID-19 concerns forced the cancellation of the St. Pete Pride Parade and other Pride celebrations scheduled during June.
“Pride is about acceptance, unity, healing, and most importantly, that love conquers hate,” wrote Crist, himself a former Florida Governor. “It is the celebration of a people, historically marginalized, renewing their faith in themselves and their community. In these unprecedented and challenging times of illness, discord, economic insecurity, and deeply disquieting racial injustice, we are unfortunately unable to gather in person this year to celebrate Pride.”
The St. Pete Pride Parade is the largest Pride parade in the southeastern United States and has been held for nearly two decades.
Crist described the lighting of the bridge as a small display of homage to his constituents and the over 265,000 people who attended the event in 2019.
“This small but meaningful action would bring goodwill and optimism to my constituents and the entire State of Florida at a time when we need it most,” Crist wrote. “It would be a thoughtful way we can all safely mark the occasion and send the message that regardless of race, creed, religion, color, gender identity, or sexual orientation, we are all in this together.”
June is recognized as Pride Month in the United States and cities across the globe as a means to recognize the community’s contributions and arduous path toward equality.