Where Love Wins
St. Pete extends a warm welcome to the LGBTQ+ community and consistently ranks among the top cities for LGBTQ+ people to live and visit. Since 2014 St. Pete has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBTQ+ people who live and work there. St. Pete offers a spectrum of support and opportunities to the LGBTQ+ community, including LGBTQ+ visitor information, the Metro Inclusive Health LGBTQ+ Welcome Center, and the largest Pride celebration in Florida.
Striving for Inclusion
Since 2002, the City has been working to make St. Pete a more inclusive and supportive city for LGBTQ+ residents and visitors. For the last nine years the City of St. Petersburg has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's Municipal Equality Index, a national body that assesses LGBTQ+ inclusion in municipal laws, policies, and services.
2022 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard
City Actions & Initiatives in Support of the LGBTQ+ Community
St. Petersburg has consistently acted in support and celebration of its LGBTQ+ community and the City’s many initiatives speak to its ongoing commitment to inclusion.
- St. Pete passes Human Rights Ordinance no. 517-G, which adds sexual orientation as a protected status in housing, public accommodations, and employment.
- St. Pete hosts their first St. Pete Pride celebration. St. Pete Pride is now the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast, drawing in more than 100,000 people and generating millions of dollars for the local economy each year.
- St. Pete begins reporting their hate crime statistics to the FBI on an annual basis.
- St. Pete is listed in the Domestic Partnership Registry.
- The Mayor for the Freedom to Marry Statement is signed by City of St. Petersburg Mayor at the time, joining a growing number of US bipartisan mayors who understand that the strength and health of our cities are enhanced when all families are protected and supported.
- The City begins offering domestic partner benefits, including coverage for gender transition and gender affirming surgery.
- St. Pete hosts a conference for health professionals entitled “Building Awareness of the Needs of the Geriatric LGBTQ+ Patient.”
- St. Pete earns a perfect score on HRC's Municipal Equality Index for the first time.
- The City's historic "Points of Pride" Proclamation highlights a series of new initiatives for LGBTQ+ residents.
- The City of St. Petersburg increases its Pride sponsorship and gives $35,000 to the annual celebration.
- In partnership with Metro Inclusive Health, the City begins hosting LGBTQ+ Gender Diversity Training workshops for their employees.
- St. Pete participates in the 2014 Florida Equality/Pinellas Gala, and the City proclaims May as Equality Month and May 3rd as “Edie Windsor Day,” welcoming this LGBTQ+ heroine of the marriage equality movement.
- The City supports the development of St. Pete’s first LGBTQ+ Welcome Center. It will offer LGBTQ+ visitor information, travel resources, education and health services, classes catered to the LGBTQ+ and greater St. Pete community, diversity training, and will serve as a referral location for LGBTQ+ teens experiencing houselessness and other community members in need of social services.
- The City of St. Petersburgs’s Mayor’s Office creates the position of LGBTQ+ liaison officer. This position serves as a critical point of contact for LGBTQ+ residents, business owners, and other community members with concerns affecting City Hall.
- The St. Pete Police Department creates the position of LGBTQ+ liaison officer to address the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies as they relate to the legal and criminal justice systems.
- The City of St. Petersburgs’s Human Resources department expands bereavement leave provisions to include paid leave for the family members of domestic partners, equal to the family members of married couples, and provides a draft of a Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy which includes extensive language defining gender discrimination in terms of sexual self-identity.
- The City partners with Pinellas County Public Schools to assist with LGBTQ+ student events, such as anti-bullying seminars, lunch and learn events, and Metro’s annual LGBTQ+ Student Summit.
- St. Pete adopts Non-Discrimination by City Contractors, of the City’s Code of Ordinance.
- St. Pete’s Library System starts its first-ever LGBTQ+ book group.
- The City-operated Sunshine Center introduces weekly LGBTQ+ support groups facilitated by a licensed mental health counselor.
- The City begins raising the Pride Flag every year on June 1st to mark the beginning of Pride Month.
- The City begins partnering with local LGBTQ+ organizations on special events like “Trans Day of Visibility,” “Trans Day of Remembrance,” and the annual St. Pete Pride Festival.
- Local LGBTQ+ liaison officers are trained to teach the U.S. Department of Justice course, Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities to law enforcement officers in their respective agencies.
- St. Pete hosts The IGLTA Annual Global Convention— the world's premier educational and networking event for LGBTQ+ tourism professionals.
- St. Pete earns a perfect score on HRC's Municipal Equality Index for the fourth year in a row.
- The City proclaims March 31st as Transgender Day of Visibility.
- USAToday rates St. Pete Pride the #2 Pride Festival in the nation.
- The City develops an anti-bullying policy and reporting procedure that accounts for sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in order to protect youth served by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department.
- The City begins tracking LGBTQ+-owned businesses as part of their inclusionary measures for small business entities and the City's procurement of goods and services.
- In response to the Pandemic and Cancellation of St. Pete Pride, The City created a visual event, "Light Up With Pride," to light up iconic buildings throughout the City in Rainbow colors on June 1st, 2020.
- Due to the Pandemic and cancelation of St Pete Pride, The City, in partnership with St Pete Pride, installed the Progressive Pride Street Mural at 25th St. and Central Ave.
- St. Pete earns a perfect score on HRC's Municipal Equality Index for the seventh year.
- The City lit the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Rainbow colors celebrating the Stonewall Anniversary and St. Pete Pride.
- St. Pete earns a perfect score on HRC's Municipal Equality Index for the eighth year.
- The City proclaims March 31st as Transgender Day of Visibility.
- LGBTQ Liaison Jim Nixon, chosen as a Grand Marshall for 2022 St Pete Pride.
- The City proclaims November 20th as Transgender Day of Remembrance.
- St. Pete earns a perfect score on HRC's Municipal Equality Index for the ninth year.
LGBTQ+ City Liaisons
In an effort to foster a diverse, inclusive city, the City of St. Petersburg appoints LGBTQ+ City Liaisons to serve as a bridge between the City and the community.
Mayor’s Office LGBTQ+ Liaison
Jim Nixon, Mayor's Office LGBTQ+ Liaison | 727-692-8599 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayor's Office LGBTQ+ Liaison serves as an accessible and friendly ear to the city's LGBTQ community and elevates LGBTQ-related concerns to the city executive and other city officials. They Serve as a spokesperson for the Mayor's Office to a local LGBTQ+ demographic and a representative of LGBTQ+ interests to the leaders of the St. Petersburg Government.
Police LGBTQ+ Liaison
Lt. Markus Hughes, Police LGBTQ+ Liaison | 727-893-4821 | email@example.com
The Police LGBTQ+ Liaison serves as a direct line of communication between the LGBTQ+ community and the St. Petersburg Police Department. The Police Liaison develops and strengthens relationships within the LGBTQ+ community and offers assistance in navigating matters that intersect with the police.