Treasure Coast Pridefest in Florida has announced the cancellation of its planned Pride parade and its Pridefest event this weekend will be for people aged 21 and older ahead of the expected passage of anti-drag legislation into law.
HB 1423 passed the state House of Representatives Wednesday by a vote of 82–32, and passed the Senate last week by a vote of 28–12.
The measure would prohibit government entities and employees from issuing permits to organizations that may hold “adult live performances” in the presence of minors.
The language of the bill was purposefully written to be vague which will allow local police departments leeway in how the measure is enforced.
The bill is now headed to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who’s never met an anti-LGBTQ bill he didn’t love.
As a result of Florida’s law that is intended to target drag events, we are now at the time when Pride events are being cancelled.
Treasure Coast, Florida, a region with 500k population, has officially cancelled its Pride Parade citing the new law. pic.twitter.com/6JjysJP0wP
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) April 20, 2023
From the Pride of Treasure Coast Facebook page:
As all of you know, the political climate that we are currently in has us all very concerned for our community. After multiple meetings with city officials, it is with a heavy heart that Pride Alliance of the Treasure Coast has to announce that this weekend’s Pridefest will now be a 21 and older event.
The city has decided that with the likelihood that the Governor will sign the latest bill into effect this evening, that we will need to be on the side of caution and has required us to make this necessary change.
We are obviously upset and dishearten that it has come to this. We also regret to announce that we will have to cancel our plans to bring back our beloved parade.
We will be making an announcement in the near future about a family friendly Party in the Park where our youth can celebrate who they are as well.
The pride festival with entertainment, food and vendors will take place at the MIDFLORIDA Event Center in Port St. Lucie from 12 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Related: Florida Passes Hateful Don’t Say Gay Law
New York Times columnist Lydia Polgreen tweeted, “This is the law working as intended: forcing queer people back into the closet.”
This is the law working as intended: forcing queer people back into the closet. https://t.co/B2s9NVsyrG
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) April 20, 2023
Treasure Coast Pridefest cancels parade, makes event 21+ ahead of expected Florida legislation https://t.co/4DPXUIcSZ4
— WPBF 25 News (@WPBF25News) April 20, 2023