St. Pete's Pride Will Be Recognized; Hillborough County, FL Lifts Ban On Recognition Of Gay Pride
Kevin Beckner, an openly gay County Commissioner, hammered in the final nail in the coffin of a seven year ban on recognition of Pride by Hillborough County today as a small crowd cheered on the move. Is the county that is home to Tampa Bay and St. Pete finally ready to accept its LGBT community?
The decision was met with applause and a standing ovation from supporters in the audience at County Center. Earlier Wednesday, the speakers included Terry Kemple, head of the Hillsborough-based Community Issues Council. Prior to the vote, he spent time rallying opposition to what he called Commissioner Kevin Beckner's "crusade to push for county government recognition of homosexual behavior."
Before Wednesday's vote, no other group of residents had its activities similarly deemed unrecognizable by county government. A supermajority of at least five of the seven commissioners was needed to undo the ban. Prior to the decision, Commissioner Les Miller called on his colleagues to end the ban."It's is time to repeal this ugly ordinance that hangs over the head of this county," he said.