DeSantis orders Jacksonville Bridge stripped of LGBTQ Pride Month rainbow lights one day after turned on
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis or someone in his administration ordered the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville to take down a special LGBTQ Pride Month rainbow light display, just one day after it had been turned on.
Happy #Pride Jacksonville! Catch these colors on the Acosta Bridge all week. \n\n by Fred Ortylpic.twitter.com/110dDWXFfz— Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) (@Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)) 1623157255
The Florida Times-Union reports the order came from the Florida Department of Transportation, which ordered the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to remove the display. The FDOT owns the bridge even though it is controlled by the JTA.
"This afternoon, the FDOT informed the JTA that our scheduled color scheme for the Acosta Bridge is out of compliance with our existing permit. The JTA will comply accordingly," the Jacksonville Transportation Authority announced in a statement.
But Florida Times-Union metro columnist Nate Monroe says there's "almost no way this didn't come from the governor's office. JTA has lit the bridge up with all sorts of colors on all sorts of occasions, with no pushback, until now."
Feel free to tag @ChristinaPushaw about this. There\u2019s almost no way this didn\u2019t come from the governor\u2019s office. JTA has lit the bridge up with all sorts of colors on all sorts of occasions, with no pushback, until now.— Nate Monroe (@Nate Monroe) 1623204510
He also encouraged social media users to contact Gov. DeSantis' Press Secretary, who is a fan of light shows, at least some light shows:
Requests for Pride Month displays on other bridges, including in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, were allegedly denied.
Florida's first LGBTQ Latinx legislator expressed outrage:
Lemme get this STRAIGHT.\n\n@GovRonDeSantis\u2019s @MyFDOT has ordered the #Pride2021 rainbow lights on a Jax bridge REMOVED?!? \n\nRainbow bridge in Sarasota DENIED?!\n\nShould LGBTQ Floridians give the benefit of the doubt or BELIEVE HIM when he shows us who he is?https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2021/06/08/fdot-orders-removal-pride-lighting-jacksonvilles-acosta-bridge/7613184002/\u00a0\u2026— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@Rep. Carlos G Smith) 1623206214
Equality Florida's Senior Political Director notes DeSantis has used LGBTQ Pride Month to attack LGBTQ people several times already:
After kicking off Pride month targeting trans kids and Pulse shooting survivors, the DeSantis Administration has shut down the lighting of Jacksonville\u2019s Acosta Bridge in rainbow LED lights for Pride. \n#flapolhttps://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.jacksonville.com/amp/7613184002\u00a0\u2026— Joe Saunders (@Joe Saunders) 1623205159
An investigative reporter and Executive Producer at WTLV/WJXX weighs in with other events that were allowed (even more examples on her Twitter page):
might remember the Christmas lights a few months ago?pic.twitter.com/0tUIFn4D9W— anne schindler (@anne schindler) 1623204259
Oh wait \u2014I forgot Clemson colors, just for fun!pic.twitter.com/VS1huSTfaC— anne schindler (@anne schindler) 1623204550
...Orange to oppose gun violence...pic.twitter.com/h6F9RWwL7R— anne schindler (@anne schindler) 1623204778
Women\u2019s history, St. Patrick\u2019s Day & the first day of Springpic.twitter.com/qrlJyS7uwV— anne schindler (@anne schindler) 1623206030
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