For the first time in its history, St. Petersburg hoisted a rainbow flag over city hall during last weekend’s Price celebration. We asked Mayor Rick Kriseman five questions about his decisions and his beliefs. Here’s what he said:
What influenced your decision to hoist the rainbow flag over city hall?
First, supporting Pride is personally the right this to do. In my role as Mayor, it's also the right thing to do. It’s right because we have a diverse, inclusive city. A city which is stronger and more vibrant because of our LGBT community. It's the right thing to do economically. Businesses want to be in cities that are diverse and inclusive. Plus, Pride has a huge economic impact on our city.
When did you first become aware of LGBT issues?
I first became aware of LGBT issues in the late 80's early 90's. I became a member of the Tampa Bay Business Guild in 1992.
How will St. Petersburg demonstrate its commitment to LGBT rights throughout the year?
We now have an LGBT liaison for the city and police department. We have instituted and will enforce our human rights ordinance which provides LGBT protections.
What would you say to those reading this who don’t support LGBT rights?
Love, inclusion and tolerance use much less energy and create more happiness in your life than hate, bigotry and intolerance.
What does your Rabbi say about LGBT rights?
My Rabbi is proud of me.