New gay advisory board and a Pride flag over City Hall

Mayor Donna Deegan is once again taking applications for an advisory board to help her administration govern gay people and one local reporter is thrilled about it.

On the last day of June, Deegan declared the month of June Pride Month in Jacksonville. She also flew a rainbow flag over City Hall.

Addressing the audience, Deegan said, “by virtue of the authority invested in me as the mayor of Jacksonville, Florida do hereby proclaim June 2024 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Jacksonville.”

Democrat City Councilman Jimmy Peluso declared, “in a state where sometimes it can feel bleak and dark. In a state we are told you can’t say gay. It’s incredibly important that we are about to speak out a proclamation where we absolutely say gay in the city of Jacksonville.” He added, while pointing his finger and shaking his head side to side, “no one is going back in the closet. And everyone is welcome in this city.” I fully expected three snaps in a Z formation, but he opted for a dramatic hand clap instead while the crowd cheered.

For the record, there isn’t, never was and never will be a law or a rule forbidding teachers or anyone else from saying the word “gay” inside or outside the classroom setting. It is a false argument for the disingenuous and uninformed. HB 1557, the so-called “don’t say gay” law, forbids teachers from teaching sexual orientation or gender identity with children in third grade or younger. That’s it.

Deegan announced during the event her administration will create an LGBTQ+ advisory board via executive order.

Just like her recently formed African American Advisory Board, the LGBTQ+ Advisory Board will present to the mayor and council an annual report with “recommendations.

Local reporter Jim Piggott tells us he is ending his journalism career after 39 years, by witnessing something unprecedented, “the pride flag on top of City Hall. And as a gay man, Ill tell you, this is something I never thought I would see in Jacksonville,” Piggott said.

During a one-on-one interview, Deegan told Piggott, “We can’t be the city that we want to be unless everybody feels like they belong. Unless everybody feels seen. This is so important to me. They don’t need to live in fear. That’s the legacy we want to have here in the city of Jacksonville. We want to be that welcoming city that says to everybody you belong here.”

Is Jacksonville really a city where our gay brothers and sisters live in fear? If so, should they? I did a little digging.

Florida’s most recent report on hate crimes in the state contains data from the year 2022. According to the report there were 56 hate crimes due to sexual orientation reported state-wide, the majority listed as “simple assaults.”

In Duval County, home to more than a million people, 12 hate crimes were reported in 2022. 5 aggravated assaults, 3 reports of destruction/damage/vandalism and 4 simple assaults. The sexual orientation of the victims is unknown.

Before today, I didn’t know Jim Piggott’s sexual orientation, nor did I need to know. I have invited him into my home for the past 39 years, and never once did I wonder if Jim bats for the Yankees or the Braves. It doesn’t matter. But I do understand it is important to him.

This is an exciting time for Jim and all my gay boos, whom I love dearly. Honestly, for our fellow Ls and Gs, this is a special moment. They have worked so hard for normalcy and equality. Christians and conservatives may not agree with the lifestyle, but it is not our place to judge. Everyone will have their day of judgement and that is between them and God. Our job as decent human beings is to show God’s love through kindness towards others. What is a shame is the hijacking of a legitimate movement based on the foundation of acceptance and transformed into an anything goes but straight sex, immoral dumpster fire.

We have gone from learning to accept legal gay marriage to, if we don’t fly flags on government buildings representing every perversion of human sexuality under the sun, then those people who follow that lifestyle are not welcome and the ones who unfortunately already live here are rejected and living in fear.

What a twisted mind game these people are playing upon the masses.

“I really feel a connection to the LGBTQ community because we both believe in the power of love,” the mayor said. Deegan continued, “for the community, love is love and love will always win are the themes that drive you forward. I feel those words with all my heart, mind and soul.”

Well, thousands of other people, including straight people, feel all of those things too, but we don’t need a governmental advisory board only for gay people and a mayoral proclamation in front of news cameras to help us express those feelings towards each other.

All it takes is faith and trust… and just a little bit of pixie dust. 

Lindsey Roberts

Lindsey Roberts graduated from the University of Florida where she studied history and journalism. She was a multimedia producer at First Coast News for five years and then pursued her career as a Mommy to two beautiful children. She has always followed political news and anything specifically related to issues affecting the family and the American way of life. She is ready to get back to her roots by writing for Eye On My City. We are thrilled to have her onboard!!


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