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In reversal, state will allow Pride lights on Jacksonville bridge

The Florida Department of Transportation previously told Jacksonville officials to take down the rainbow lighting.
The rainbow lighting on Jacksonville's Acosta Bridge on Monday in honor of Pride month can be seen reflecting off the St. Johns River. The Florida Department of Transportation ordered the removal of the rainbow lighting from the bridge but the governor's office said Pride colors will return Tuesday.
The rainbow lighting on Jacksonville's Acosta Bridge on Monday in honor of Pride month can be seen reflecting off the St. Johns River. The Florida Department of Transportation ordered the removal of the rainbow lighting from the bridge but the governor's office said Pride colors will return Tuesday. [ FRED ORTYL | Jacksonville Times-Union ]
Published Jun. 9
Updated Jun. 9

The colors of the Pride flag will shine from the Acosta Bridge tonight, according to the governor’s office, after the Florida Department of Transportation unceremoniously ordered the removal of the rainbow lighting from the bridge yesterday. 

“The bottom line is, lights will be back up tonight,” said Taryn Fenske, spokeswoman for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.

She says she does not know who actually turned the lights off or what happened behind-the-scenes with the last-minute cancellation of the lights.

By late Tuesday, the bridge was lit up in blue instead of the scheduled multi-colored display. The Pride lights were intended to glow all week in honor of Pride Month, which remembers the June 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City when patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn tavern staged an uprising to resist police harassment and persecution of gays.

Fenske told the Times-Union the “discussion” around the lights happened “at a local level” but that FDOT plans to review its own permitting process.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority declined to comment further beyond yesterday’s statement: “This afternoon the FDOT informed the JTA that our scheduled color scheme for the Acosta Bridge is out of compliance with our existing permit. The JTA will comply accordingly.”

Last week, the state DOT denied a request to light Sarasota’s John Ringling Causeway Bridge with rainbow lights to celebrate Pride Month, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.