St. Cloud Pride event canceled due to so-called ‘climate of fear’

“PRIDE in St. Cloud” scrapped among several other Florida Pride events

A participant waves a rainbow flag before a parade as a part of the 23rd Seoul Queer Culture Festival which is held from from July 15 to July 31, in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) (Lee Jin-Man, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – A Pride event scheduled for June 10 was canceled on Thursday in the wake of recent Florida legislation, according to organizers.

Organizers announced on social media that the event — dubbed “PRIDE in St. Cloud” — would be canceled after months of planning. The organizers stated that recent state laws created a “climate of fear” for LGBT people in Florida.

The St. Cloud event isn’t the only Pride-related festival that has been canceled in recent months. Several others have also been scrapped in places like Tampa and Port St. Lucie. Lake County’s first-ever Pride is in trouble after losing donors and sponsorships.

These cancelations came after Florida lawmakers passed SB 1438, also known as the Protection of Children Act.

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The legislation, which was signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week, imposes harsh penalties on venues that permit children into an “adult live performance.” That includes events that involve simulated nudity, sexual conduct or other sexually explicit content.

PRIDE in St. Cloud organizers didn’t explicitly state which laws they blamed or how those laws put the LGBT community at risk. However, they did say on Facebook that drag queens, including the event’s headlining entertainment, no longer felt safe performing. They also pointed to an incident in Lake Nona where an electronic traffic sign was tampered with to say “kill all gays.” Organizers said they did not have the money to hire private security for safety concerns.

Organizers also said that refunds for the event would be processed as soon as possible.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.