Rainbows are beautiful things. They come after the storm and light up our lives with hope and wonder. For Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, somewhere over the rainbow is where “the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” The pot of gold lies at the end of the rainbow. And the rainbow sealed God’s covenant with Noah after the Great Flood. Here’s Genesis: Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the Earth.
The rainbow is also the symbol of the LGBTQ community. Last year for Pride Month, St. Petersburg asked the state to light up the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in rainbow colors. Request denied. This year, St. Pete asked again. Not only denied again but told it wasn’t even possible. Florida Department of Transportation officials said the Skyway lighting system can’t display a rainbow, that its LED fixtures are limited to three colors at once. Oh, and it’s not one of the transportation department’s eight approved color schemes. Sounds like a bunch of different ways of saying no.
Still, here’s a real ray of light. According to a Gallup poll released this week, more than half of Republicans believe in marriage equality — that same-sex marriages should be recognized as legal. Overall support of marriage equality hit a record 70 percent of all Americans. Just 25 years ago, only 27 percent backed same-sex marriage. Yes, times and attitudes change even in a polarized, politicized world.
So why not let the rainbow light up our world — and our bridges? This photo illustration shows what a rainbow Skyway could look like. Kind of pretty, isn’t it?
Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Paul Tash. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.