Iconic Florida bridge won’t display rainbow colors for Pride month

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay, Florida is just one of many landmarks across the world that will illuminate on any given night to highlight special events or holidays.

And while many of them will light up in the colors of the rainbow this June in honor of Pride month, the iconic Florida bridge will not.

This will be the first in three years the bridge does not illuminate in rainbow colors for Pride.

Instead of a rainbow, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge will display red, white, and blue lights throughout the summer, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. The change will impact all bridges throughout Florida.

The patriotic display will last from Memorial Day to Labor Day, a time which has been deemed “freedom summer.”

A report from the Tampa Bay Times suggested the reason the bridge wouldn’t honor those in the LGBTQ+ community this year was due to Manatee Commission Chairman Mike Rahn.

Since the bridge touches three counties – Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties – the FDOT has made a policy that all three counties must approve the light displays.

According to a February 13 email, Rahn would “not be approving lighting of the Skyway for Pride Month or National Gun Violence Awareness Day.” Although he had previously approved light displays for the Alzheimer’s Foundation and National Ovarian Cancer Month.


Rahn later indicated he had no interest in dealing with the multitude of requests on a near daily basis and suggested the FDOT be held responsible for making the final decision.

“What’s happened is the lighting of the bridge has somewhat gotten out of control with all the requests we get,” Rahn said. “We get requests every single day to light the bridge for every event that is out there, and it should not fall with us as a county commission or a county commission; it should fall on FDOT.”

The months-month long display means other special events and holidays like Mental Health Awareness, Juneteenth, and Ovarian Cancer Awareness won’t be recognized either.

What do you think about the decision to cancel the Pride display and replace it with a patriotic display for the entire summer? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments on Facebook.


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