Tampa Pride cancels Pride on the River, while St. Pete Pride will continue as planned
The decision comes shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would penalize businesses if children were to attend "adult live performances" like drag shows.
Tampa Pride is canceling its Pride on the River event.
The decision comes shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a series of bills targeting LGBTQ+ Floridians. One measure would penalize businesses if children were to attend "adult live performances" like drag shows.
Tampa Pride said its choice was "spelled out by the governor" in a Facebook post Thursday.
"We are all sick for our LGBTQ+ Community," Carrie West, president of Tampa Pride, said in the post. "Put on your thinking caps Floridians..... We have to come together for our lives."
While their Pride parade in March included a fenced-off area that was open only to people over 18, organizers could not find a similar area that they would be able to block off for Pride on the River.
The September festival brings between 15,000-20,000 visitors to the Riverwalk and Armature Works area.
Tampa Pride officials indicated they will try to bring the event back next year.
Meanwhile, officials with St. Pete Pride say they plan to go ahead with their events next month.
"10 events across the month of June, including our annual parade scheduled for June 24," the organization said in a Facebook post Thursday. "Drag community welcome with open arms."
St. Pete Pride is the largest Pride celebration in Florida, with hundreds of thousands of people attending the festivities in 2022.
"You can't stop Pride," the post said.
Gov. DeSantis signed SB 1438 into law Wednesday at the Cambridge Christian School in Tampa. His administration had previously filed a complaint against the Hyatt Regency Miami hotel for hosting a “Drag Queen Christmas” event in December, claiming minors were allowed to see the show. The complaint seeks to have the hotel’s liquor license revoked.
DeSantis also signed bills this week that ban gender-affirming care for minors, restrict discussion of personal pronouns in schools and force people to use certain bathrooms.