clearn.png
Friday June 18th, 2021 1:29AM

Florida reverses itself, will allow rainbow bridge lighting

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida reversed itself Wednesday and said a downtown Jacksonville bridge can be decorated in rainbow lights to celebrate gay rights, one day after it had ordered them doused.

Taryn Fenske, a spokeswoman for Gov. Ron DeSantis, told The Florida Times-Union that she didn't know why the Florida Department of Transportation had ordered the state-owned Acosta Bridge returned to its normal blue lighting Tuesday night, but said the rainbow colors will be back Wednesday night.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority had planned to use rainbow lighting on the Acosta throughout the week in honor of Pride Month, which commemorates the struggle for gay rights. The state has allowed numerous celebratory lighting displays on the bridge to honor patriotic holidays, celebrate the Jacksonville Jaguars football team and raise disease awareness.

It had been the second time this month the state rejected a rainbow lighting display for a bridge.

“The bottom line is, (the rainbow) lights will be back" on the Acosta, Fenske told the paper.

The state transportation department said on Tuesday that its original decision to shut off the rainbow lights was not motivated by anti-gay animus but because the display violated regulations. It said the Jacksonville authority's permit for lighting the Acosta requires it to maintain a certain color scheme unless it receives state permission for a temporary change.

DeSantis, a Republican, was criticized last week when, on the first day of Pride Month, he signed a law banning transgender athletes from participating in school sports.

The state had earlier rejected Sarasota’s request to light its John Ringling Causeway Bridge with rainbow lights this month despite also permitting other displays there. The governor's office did not immediately respond to a Wednesday email from The Associated Press asking whether that display will also now be allowed.

According to the state's bridge lighting policy, the transportation department can reject any temporary color scheme it deems offensive or not in the public’s best interest. It also says special lighting displays should be limited to federal or state holidays or celebrations and “events of broad community interest and significance approved by local governments.” Fenske said those policies will be reviewed.

The Times-Union reports that the Acosta is frequently lit in different color schemes. Last month, it was lit in teal to honor the Jaguars for drafting star quarterback Trevor Lawrence; green for mental health month; blue and green to raise awareness of neurofibromatoses, a neurological disorder that causes tumors; light blue for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the fatal condition commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease; purple for lupus awareness; and red, white and blue for Memorial Day.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Florida reverses itself, will allow rainbow bridge lighting
Florida has reversed itself and now says a downtown Jacksonville bridge can be decorated in rainbow lights to celebrate gay rights
12:16PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Census releases guidelines for controversial privacy tool
Hold onto your calculators, statisticians
11:48AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Judge appoints ex-judge to oversee Giuliani devices' review
A New York judge has formally appointed a former judge to ensure attorney-client privilege is protected in an examination of multiple electronic devices seized from Rudy Giuliani
11:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
Cicadas were flying; for hours, Biden's press plane was not
Reporters traveling to the United Kingdom ahead of President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip were delayed seven hours after their chartered plane was overrun by cicadas
12:02PM ( 22 minutes ago )
US drops Trump order targeting TikTok, plans its own review
The White House dropped Trump-era executive orders that attempted to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and will conduct its own review aimed at identifying national security risks with software applications tied to China
11:58AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Sakkari stops 2020 champ Swiatek's French Open streak in QFs
Maria Sakkari has ended defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek's 11-match winning streak at Roland Garros in the quarterfinals
11:58AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Schwartzman ends Nadal's 36-set winning streak
Diego Schwartzman has put an end to Rafael Nadal’s 36-set winning streak at Roland Garros
11:19AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Pavlyuchenkova and Rybakina lose in doubles
Both Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Rybakina ended the day in the losing column this time
10:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Coco Gauff says she plans to go to Olympics
Coco Gauff says she “definitely” plans to compete at the Tokyo Olympics after earning a spot on the U.S. team with her run to the French Open quarterfinals
9:48AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Jim Fassel, coach who took Giants to Super Bowl, dies at 71
The former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel has died
9:29PM ( 14 hours ago )
Recently retired QB Rivers wins NFL writers' Good Guy Award
Retired quarterback Philip Rivers has won the Pro Football Writers of America’s Good Guy Award for his cooperation with reporters
6:27PM ( 17 hours ago )
Back to work: Brady throws at camp, champs reward Arians, GM
Tom Brady is back on the practice field with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6:17PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Online Football
The Latest: France reopens border, indoor restaurants, cafes
France’s government spokesman says the coronavirus situation in France “clearly improved” as the country reopened indoor spaces in restaurants and cafes as well as gyms and swimming pools
11:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
France is back: Borders reopen to American tourists, others
France is back in business as a tourist destination after opening its borders Wednesday to foreign visitors who are inoculated against the coronavirus with vaccines approved by the European Union’s medicines agency
10:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
Billionaire philanthropist: vaccine hoarding hurts Africa
Billionaire philanthropist Mo Ibrahim is criticizing vaccine hoarding by wealthy nations, urging the international community to “walk the talk” as Africa desperately lags behind in vaccinating against COVID-19
10:11AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Former Chiefs assistant coach pleads not guilty in crash
Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid has pleaded not guilty in a crash that left a young girl critically injured
5:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Titans agree to deal with Falcons for Julio Jones
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Falcons for seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones
5:49PM ( 2 days ago )
Circus ring: Mayweather returns to fight YouTube sensation
The rebranding of Floyd Mayweather Jr. is taking another unconventional turn
3:13PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Census releases guidelines for controversial privacy tool
Hold onto your calculators, statisticians
11:48AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Judge appoints ex-judge to oversee Giuliani devices' review
A New York judge has formally appointed a former judge to ensure attorney-client privilege is protected in an examination of multiple electronic devices seized from Rudy Giuliani
11:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
FBI: Perceived grievances drove Virginia Beach mass shooter
The FBI says a city engineer who fatally shot 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building in 2019 was motivated by "perceived workplace grievances” that “he fixated on for years.”
10:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
Wedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep up
Couples in the U.S. are racing to the altar in a vaccination-era wedding boom that has venues and vendors in high demand
8:18AM ( 4 hours ago )
Biden ends GOP infrastructure talks, but new group emerges
President Joe Biden has ended talks with a group of Republican senators on a big infrastructure package and has started to reach out to senators in a new bipartisan effort
8:11AM ( 4 hours ago )