Pride In Paradise
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06/28/10 Tom Baur
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

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Pride in Paradise

Thousands of LGBT and their supporters marched behind Grand Marshall St Petersburg city council member Steve Kornell Saturday morning for the 2010 St Pete Pride Street Festival.

"We're here to support gay pride, family, and just the love that everybody should feel no matter who you love. You don't choose that, you just are. Be proud of that."

Pride was on parade in St Petersburg’s artsy historic Grand Central and Kenwood districts. More than 80,000 loud and proud spectators enjoyed the street festival’s 100 rainbow bedecked floats and almost 2,000 participants.

"We love you. Happy pride!"

Only a few anti-gay protesters showed up. The free speech area set up for them was, for the most part, strangely silent. One protester stood alone with an electrified bullhorn yelling at no one in particular to repent.

"You need to repent. Ask Jesus into your life."

Despite a lousy economy the organizers say it was their best St Pete Pride event ever. 400 vendors of all corporate stripes lined up and down both sides of Central Avenue. One of the vendors, People United for Medical Marijuana, was collecting signatures for their petition to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

"We're basically telling the government, let me decide what medical treatment is right for me and my family in the privacy of my home."

As citizens lined up to sign the petition, the medical marijuana group’s representative summed up their efforts.

"The petition of the Constitutional America to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. We've collected a couple thousand today."

Politically St Pete Pride has made great strides. The Grand Marshall this year is gay 5th District city council member Steve Kornell. Although no mayor in 8 years has signed the Pride Fest Proclamation, Mayor Bill Foster surprised many when he attended the Stonewall Commemorative Reception Pride event at the St Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts.

Meanwhile, let’s listen to some more parade.

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