WHEREAS, St. Petersburg passed its Human Rights Ordinance no. 517-G in January, 2002 which added sexual orientation as a protected status in housing, public accommodations and employment. This Ordinance served as an impetus for Pinellas County to add its own human rights ordinance in 2008, which was expanded in 2013 to include protections for gender identity or expression; and,
WHEREAS, since 2012, St. Petersburg has had a Domestic Partnership Registry in place, which, since its adoption, has registered more than 300 domestic partnership couples; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor of the City of St. Petersburg signed the Freedom to Marry Statement, joining a growing number of bipartisan, US Mayors, who understand that the strength and health of our cities are enhanced when all families are protected and supported; and
WHEREAS, in May, the city participated in the 2014 Florida Equality/Pinellas Gala, where the Mayor proclaimed May as Equality Month and where he proclaimed May 3 as “Edie Windsor Day,” as he welcomed this LGBT heroine of the marriage equality movement to the Sunshine City; and
WHEREAS, St. Petersburg is financially supporting and celebrating the 12th year of St. Petersburg Pride, an event which has become the largest pride celebration in Florida and the Southeastern United States, drawing more than 130,000 celebrants to the city, generating an estimated $10.5 million to the local economy.; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor and City of St. Petersburg are in support of the development of the city’s first LGBTWelcome Center, housed in a historic 1922 Bungalow relocated from the heart of Kenwood to a visible location on Central Avenue. This 1200 sq. foot center will offer LGBT visitor information, travel resources, education and health services, diversity training and classes catered to the LGBT and greater St. Petersburg community, and will also serve as a referral location for homeless LGBT teens and others in the community needing social services; and
WHEREAS, Robert Danielson, Marketing Director, has been named to serve as the LGBT liaison in this newly created position within the Mayor’s Office, serving as point of contact for LGBT residents, business owners, or others in the community, with concerns related to City Hall; and
WHEREAS, Lieutenant Markus Hughes, a member of the St Petersburg Police Department, has been named to the newly created position of LGBT liaison to the police department, serving to address the needs of the LGBTcommunity when dealing with issues related to the police department; and
WHEREAS, since 2010 the City has provided same-sex domestic partner health insurance benefits, and in April, 2014, the bereavement leave provision was expanded to include paid leave for the family members of domestic partners, equal to the family members of married couples, when leave would be necessary to arrange affairs and attend services of deceased family members; and
WHEREAS, the city has revised its Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy which includes extensive language defining gender discrimination in terms of sexual self-identity, and effective May 16, 2014, added Contractor Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy language to the city’s Procurement Department‘s solicitation documents; and
WHEREAS, the city’s Employment Office will partner with the Police Department when opportunities arise to promote employment within the City.
WHEREAS, a number of other measures have been addressed and implemented by the city administration in recent weeks and months to ensure the city is a welcoming place for LGBT employees, residents, visitors and businesses. These include adding LBGT training to its diversity training class, ensuring services to LGBT youth are included in our Parks and Recreation Programs, creating the Library's first book club for LGBT residents, and providing services to LGBT seniors through the city's Office on Aging; and
WHEREAS, in addition to city administration and programs, St. Petersburg supports the dozens of agencies in our community who provide services to LGBT residents by providing AIDS services, family abuse service and prevention, transitional living services for LGBT homeless teens, and substance abuse and recovery services; and
WHEREAS, to underscore the city's commitment to all of these points of pride, a PRIDE FLAG will be raised on Thursday, June 26 in a ceremony at 9 a.m. and will fly its rainbow colors over St. Petersburg during the city's Pride Celebration!
True to its vision of being a city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play, this June of 2014 we celebrate these many points of pride, and declare June 2014 as
LGBT PRIDE MONTH IN ST PETERSBURG
and encourage all residents and businesses of the city to join with me in the many celebrations this month and to express their appreciation for the people and organizations that contribute to the diversity that make St. Petersburg truly one of the brightest cities in America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the official Seal of the City of St. Petersburg, County of Pinellas and State of Florida to be affixed this 12th day of June, 2014.