Tampa mayor signs Pride month proclamation

By : Staff Report
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For the first time ever, St. Pete Pride has a proclamation declaring June LGBT Pride month from a mayor-just not the mayor of St. Petersburg.

See the proclamation after the jump:

On June 3, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn signed a proclamation recognizing Pride month. It’s something St. Pete Pride board members and executive director Eric Skains had expected for several months.

“It has been a very humbling experience working with Mayor’s office over the past couple of months and presenting the case for this proclamation,” Skains said. “We are pleased that St Pete Pride and the City of Tampa were able to make history today by having the mayor sign this proclamation.”

Although proclamations and letters of support have been signed in years past from local and state officials, this proclamation is the first signed by a current Mayor of any city that makes up Tampa Bay. Former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker was adamently opposed to St. Pete Pride and made that point many times during his tenure. Current St. Petersburg Mayor Bob Foster is a little more welcoming, having written welcome letters to attendees of Pride, but he has yet to sign an official proclamation. That duty has fallen to St. Petersburg City Councilmembers.

In his proclamation, Buckhorn wrote: “LGBT Pride is defined as the positive stance against discrimination and violence towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, and equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.” He with, “(I) urge all citizens to join in ending prejudice everywhere it may exist, respect the rights of all people, and celebrate the diversity and richness of our city.”

Although St Pete Pride was presented the proclamation, the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (TIGLFF), PFLAG Tampa, and 2013 Female Grand Marshal Susan McGrath of the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas were each involved in lobbying for this proclamation.

“Their letters of support and phones calls is what made this happen,” said Skains. “Their support helped elevate our presentation. It was a great experience to work with TIGLFF, PFLAG and Susan; the residents of Tampa and surrounding areas should really be proud of their support.”

This proclamation launches LGBT Pride Month in Tampa Bay as St Pete Pride begins hosting community events throughout the month, concluding with St Pete Pride Carnivale, June 26-30 in St Petersburg, Florida where an estimated 100,000 attendees will celebrate at the annual Street Festival on Central Avenue Saturday, June 29.



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