At the first meeting of the year for the Key West Business Guild, Mayor Teri Johnston presented the Guild’s Executive Director Kevin Theriault the first-ever Rainbow Key to the City in honor of his amazing dedication to the city and the LGBTQ+ community.
The Key West Police Department is honored to be awarded the Key West Business Guild's President's Award. The award was presented in recognition of the department's dedication to the protection and support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We are humbled by this honor,” said Chief Sean Brandenburg. “The men and women of the Key West Police Department are dedicated to serving our One Human Family.”
In the photo: Commissioners Gregory Davila, Jimmy Weekley and Mary Lou Hoover, Business Guild Executive Director Kevin Theriault, Guild President Chuck Licis-Masson, Mayor Teri Johnston, Guild Vice President Jacqueline Luhta, Guild employee Fritzie Estimond, Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Commissioners Clayton Lopez and Billy Wardlow.
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission helped kick off a week of celebration by proclaiming June 1st through the 5th as Key West Pride Week.
Since the late 1970s, the Key West Business Guild has been promoting Key West as a LGBTQ travel destination.
“Key West made history by electing the first openly gay Mayor,” reads the proclamation, “and the first openly lesbian mayor of the State of Florida. Key West presented the world with the Sea to Sea Rainbow Flag and has always been a leader of LGBTQ rights and protections for our nation.”
Key West Business Guild President Chuck Licis-Masson thanked the City for the newly replaced rainbow crosswalks on Duval Street. He also thanked the Key West Police Department for the Pride-wrapped police car, which was sponsored by the Business Guild.
“What’s important to focus on,” he said, “is that differences mean strength. We are empowered by our differences, not weakened.”
The city’s motto “One Human Family” reflects the community’s commitment that no matter what a person’s race, sexual orientation, or gender identity, we all can stand together as one.
“Key West Pride 2022 will serve as a reminder to all of the ongoing struggle for social, political and personal equality for the LGBTQ community across our nation and throughout the world,” continues the proclamation.
Festivities through the week include a street fair, numerous parties as well as several church services. The celebration culminates in the Key West Pride Parade down Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic on Sunday, June 5th beginning at 5 p.m.
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