St. Pete Pride Festival is Sunday June 23; and for several weeks before that date, communities in Pinellas County are celebrating Pride Month 2019.
Our guests in the studio spoke about some of the Pride Month events. They are from the Gulfport Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center. Susan Gore is the board chair and Brittany Baldwin is a board member of the LGBTQ Resource Center.
The Gulfport Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center opened in 2014 and is the first of its kind in a Florida public library.
Here are some of the events during Pride Month 2019:
May 30: A sidewalk march, a Pride flag raising and the opening of ArtOut, a month-long exhibit of multi-media work by local LGBTQ artists at the Gulfport Library.
June 6: State Rep. Jennifer Webb speaking at 7:00 p.m. on legislation relevant to LGBTQ Floridians.
June 12: Judge Robert W. Lee explaining “Welcome to Florida: LGBT Attorneys Need Not Apply.”
“He was the first openly gay person appointed as a judge in the state of Florida in 1997, and what he’ll talk about is all the barriers to being an attorney, being a judge in the state of Florida. Until 1979, it was illegal to be an attorney.”
It was on the books that it was illegal?
“Yes, yes, to be an attorney or a judge in the state of Florida. Well, as one of your callers said, ‘It’s Flori-duh.'”
So the Florida Legislature had passed a law that said that you couldn’t pass the bar, or something like that?
“Exactly, and the Supreme Court overturned that, and Judge Lee was appointed in 1997. So he is going to talk about the history of legal roadblocks.”
I think that will surprise a lot of listeners that 1997, when we think about where we were in 1997, that before that, the state of Florida did not have an openly gay judge.
“Until ’79, it was illegal. After ’79, you could be a judge or a lawyer, but there was no one appointed until ’97. But to your point, Sean, [newly-elected State Rep. Jennifer Webb] is our first openly lesbian legislator, and it’s 2019.”
Listen to Susan Gore talking about Judge Lee here:
June 13: documentary Stonewall Uprising at 7:00 p.m.
June 20: The Scott and Patty Show! with Matthew McGee and Scott Daniel will play one night only at the Catherine Hickman Theater as a fundraiser for the Resource Center.
We also talked about their thoughts on the results from yesterday’s City of Tampa Mayoral election. Jane Castor was elected as the first out lesbian in a major Southeastern city.
We began the show with comments left by listeners about the last two programs. On Monday we talked about proposed toll roads through rural Florida and Tuesday we played debate from the floor of the Florida Senate before the Senate approved a bill that will allow Florida teachers to carry guns in the classroom.