Commissioners unanimously repeal ban on gay pride events - FOX 13 News

Commissioners unanimously repeal ban on gay pride events

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Cheers, applause and even some tears filled the Hillsborough County Commission chambers Wednesday morning as commissioners voted unanimously to repeal the gay pride ban.

The policy prohibited the county from recognizing gay pride events and displays anywhere in Hillsborough County.

It is a major turnaround for Hillsborough County. The ban had been in place since 2005, when Commissioner Ronda Storms spearheaded it.

It all started in 2005 when Storms got word of a display in a Tampa library featuring books with gay and lesbian themes. It was set up in June for gay pride month.

Storms, who is no longer on the board, presented the policy, ending it by saying "gay pride…little ‘g' little ‘p.'"

"The only thing that was clear when this policy was passed was intent," said Commissioner Kevin Beckner, who is openly gay himself. "It was intended to purposely discriminate against a class of citizens in our community. ‘Little g, little p.' How else could that be interpreted?"

Wednesday, Beckner ended his call to repeal the policy similarly to how Storms ushered it in eight years ago.

"Repeal should be capitalized, capital ‘R'," he said, to a round of applause.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn had also joined in the push to end the ban. The repeal required the approval of five of seven commissioners.

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