Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ends State Bridge 'Pride' lighting in favor of red, white and blue | The Gateway expert

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida's Sunshine Skyway Bridge will be lit in patriotic red, white and blue from Memorial Day through Labor Day. So the practice of turning on the lights for a handful of other events, including a week in June for LGBT “Pride” month, is coming to an end.

The bridge serves as a gateway to Tampa Bay.

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue announced the “Freedom Summer” relief plan on X.

“As Floridians prepare for Freedom Summer, Florida's bridges will follow suit and light up in red, white and blue from Memorial Day to Labor Day! Thanks to the leadership of @GovRonDeSantisFlorida remains the freest state in the country.”

The DOT directive also affects decorative lighting on other state-owned bridges, including the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville and the Ringling Bridge in Sarasota.

While some groups have complained about the decision, Manatee County Commission Chairman Mike Rahn said the decision on lighting should be left up to state officials because the state owns the bridges.

Rahn's opposition to lighting the Sunshine Skyway Bridge for Pride Month and National Gun Violence Awareness Day led to the directive to work strictly with red, white and blue.

Rahn explained, “My concern is that if we're going to do it for one group, we have to do it for all groups, regardless of their political stance.”

“I personally feel that the bridge is being politicized by various organizations.”

The governor also announced a series of events to celebrate the Summer of Freedom.

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