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Rahn Vetoes Sunshine Skyway Pride Display


MANATEE COUNTY — Thanks to Manatee County Commission Chair Mike Rahn, the Sunshine Skyway bridge will not light up its Rainbow display during Pride month or its Gun Violence Awareness display.

As the Skyway involves Manatee, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties, FDOT's policy has been that light displays must be approved by all three county commissions to ensure broad community support.

In a Feb. 13 email from the office of Manatee County Administrator Charlie Bishop, FDOT officials were informed that Rahn approved of displays for the Alzheimer’s Foundation, National Ovarian Cancer Month, and others but "will not be approving lighting of the Skyway for Pride Month or National Gun Violence Awareness Day."

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Rahn was evasive regarding questions on the decision, saying only that he believes such matters should be left solely to FDOT while declining to comment on Bishop's email or why the decision would be made by a single commissioner rather than a vote of the board.

Shortly after Manatee County's communication to the agency, FDOT Secretary Jared Perdue posted on X that all Florida bridges will be lit up in red, white, and blue from Memorial Day through Labor Day in celebration of “freedom summer,” the July sales tax holiday signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that will exempt outdoor recreation equipment and admission to state parks and museums from sales tax.

DeSantis' directive also wipes out planned lighting displays for Mental Health Awareness (May 28-31), Juneteenth (June 19), and Ovarian Cancer Awareness (Sept. 1-7).


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  • kmskepton

    Now they're afraid of lights. LOL.

    Saturday, May 18 Report this

  • jimandlope

    Afraid of Pride, Mental Health Awareness, Gun violence, Ovarian Cancer Awareness, Juneteenth? Rahn and De Santis are “ freedom loving”? I think not Mr. Perdue. Gentlemen you’ve got your priorities ass-backwards. As usual. Jim Tierney

    Sunday, May 19 Report this

  • san.gander

    An exercise of authoritarian power... turn off the lights... turn off freedom!

    Sunday, May 19 Report this

  • Cat L

    Rahn is an old guy with old guy views, who lacks the capacity to hold space for other people. He wants the world to be his way, because he's not strong enough of a person to be who he is while holding different people in a state of appreciation. That is weakness....

    Monday, May 20 Report this