DeSantis' 'Freedom Summer' Initiative Sparks Controversy with Rainbow Bridge Ban During LGBTQ Pride Month

DeSantis’ ‘Freedom Summer’ Initiative Sparks Controversy with Rainbow Bridge Ban During LGBTQ Pride Month

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a well-known symbol in the state, will now be lit in red, white, and blue in observance of Pride Month, according to Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Florida).

The move, known as “Freedom Summer,” is a component of the governor’s plan to commemorate the state’s standing as the “freest” in the union.

The administration is excited about the shift, as stated by Florida Transportation Secretary James Perdue in a statement on X: “As Floridians prepare for Freedom Summer, Florida’s bridges will follow suit, illuminating in red, white, and blue from Memorial Day through Labor Day! Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida continues to be the freest state in the nation.”

The patriotic display will take the place of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge’s customary rainbow lighting, which honors LGBTQ+ communities during Pride Month.

There will also be a number of other scheduled lightings, including ones for Mental Health Awareness (May 28–31), Juneteenth (June 19), and Ovarian Cancer Awareness (September 1-7).

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It was also reported that approval for World Fragile X Day for autism (July 22) and Sickle Cell Awareness Day (June 18) was imminent.

All state-owned bridges in Florida are affected by the state’s decision, which prevents some progressive cities and municipalities from continuing a long-standing custom.

“The bridge lights were about celebrating diversity and inclusion, which will continue to happen in our communities,” Carlos Guillermo Smith, Equality Florida’s senior policy adviser stated. “LGBTQ Floridians will proudly raise our flags even higher, and our lights will only shine brighter in the darkness they’ve created.”

The DeSantis administration is unwavering in its support of the “Freedom Summer” program in spite of the criticism. The Freedom Summer Sales Tax Holiday, which the governor also proposed, will remove sales tax from state parks, museums, and outdoor recreation equipment in July.

DeSantis has not stopped trying to establish himself as a right-wing rabble-rouser; most recently, he signed a bill outlawing synthetic meat and removing all mention of climate change from state statutes.

With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.