Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith will receive the highest civilian honor by the mayor: the keys to the City of St. Petersburg.
On Oct. 14, Mayor Rick Kriseman will hand over the key to the city for being “a leading voice for the LGBTQ community,” according to a press release.
"Nadine Smith has been a community organizer, a trailblazer, and a leader all her life,” said Mayor Kriseman. “From helping convene the first Oval Office meeting between a sitting president and LGBTQ community leaders in the 1990s to serving as the executive director of Equality Florida, Nadine is a leading voice for the LGBTQ community. She and her work are also an important part of what makes St. Pete so special. That is why I am incredibly honored to give my friend Nadine Smith a Key to the City of St. Petersburg."
Equality Florida was formed in St. Petersburg in 1997 in response to the Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, the organization has worked to ensure no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, according to the press release.
“As we approach the 25th anniversary of Equality Florida’s founding, I am honored to receive the key to a city that has become a beacon of fairness and equality for the LGBTQ community," said Smith. “While the state legislature escalates attacks on our community, Florida’s cities continue to lead the state in LGBTQ inclusion. Mayor Kriseman’s leadership in St. Petersburg has made this a welcoming place for my wife and I to raise our child. We must continue to uplift the values of fairness and equal treatment under the law and ensure our city and our state are welcoming and inclusive places for everyone to live, work, and visit."
The public ceremony recognizing Smith will take place in a special ceremony at the St. Pete City Council meeting on Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. The event will also be live streamed on St. Pete TV.