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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Castor urges Hillsborough Commission to reverse gay pride ban

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is urging Hillsborough County commissioners to do away with a policy prohibiting government recognition of gay pride displays or events.

Castor was on the County Commission when it voted 5-1 in 2005 to ban gay pride recognition at the behest of then commissioner Ronda Storms, a socially conservative Republican. A Democrat, she was the lone dissenting vote.

"Hillsborough County has a responsibility to ensure that all citizens are treated with respect and dignity," Castor wrote. "The policy adopted in 2005 was an unnecessary and mean-spirited declaration of intolerance."

Her letter to County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan, which was also sent to other commissioners Monday, encourages the board to go a step further. She says they should also restore protections to their human rights ordinance that would prohibit discrimination in the community based on sexual orientation.

"Doing so would follow the example of businesses across Tampa Bay and America and many local governments that value the contributions of all of its citizens."

See the full letter here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:45pm]


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