ST. PETERSBURG — For the first time, St. Pete Pride is moving its popular parade out of the blistering heat and placing it in the streets of Grand Central after sunset this year.
A rainbow flag will be flown in front of City Hall for most of the weekend, and the mayor himself will attend the June 28 parade.
It's a stark change from previous years, when the relationship between the parade and City Hall was at arm's reach, at best.
"The dominoes of inequality are collapsing all over the place, and we're thrilled to be part of such a diverse city here in St. Petersburg," St. Pete Pride Executive Director Eric Skains said after accepting a proclamation read by Mayor Rick Kriseman said during a recent council meeting
In addition to listing several ways the city supports its gay residents and their families, the proclamation declared June "LGBT Pride Month."
Kriseman also announced the appointment of Robert Danielson, who recently became the city's permanent marketing director, as St. Petersburg's LGBT liaison, a newly created position.
Lt. Markus Hughes will serve a similar role for the Police Department.
Unlike previous mayors, Kriseman has made connecting with the gay community a top priority. His administration also has had a more active role in the annual St. Pete Pride event.
Before reading the proclamation, Kriseman signed the Mayors for Freedom to Marry Proclamation.
"By signing this pledge, we're taking one more step towards creating a city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play," he said in a statement.
Kameel Stanley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (727) 893-8643 or on Twitter @cornandpotatoes.