St. Pete gay pride event courts mayor
ST. PETERSBURG-- Tired of being ignored, St. Pete Pride, the city's annual gay pride event, is reaching out to Mayor Rick Baker.
Organizers said they invited Baker, along with the City Council and the parade's corporate sponsors, to attend a welcome dinner Thursday.
The chances of Baker attending seem slim to none. This morning, Baker's staff said they had not received an invitation and the event is not on the mayor's calendar.
The Republican mayor's strained relationship with the gay community goes way back. Baker has never attended Pride, even though it is the largest event in the city.
During his two terms, Baker has refused to sign a proclamation recognizing St. Pete Pride. In 2004, he was quoted in the St. Petersburg Times saying "personally, I don't support the general agenda of the Pride event" and has generally refused to talk about it publicly since.
-- Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer