NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Nina Borders works in Pinellas County but lives in Pasco County.
She says, as a member of the LGTBQ community, she loses some of her basic rights when she crosses the county line to come home.
“Still, currently there is no human rights ordinance that protects us in the city of New Port Richey where we house our festival and in Pasco County as a whole,” said Borders, who is president of Pasco Pride.
Borders says without that ordinance, those who are gay can face discrimination when it comes to housing or employment.
“I want local elected officials to meet with us, schedule appointments and just talk with us about how we can make Pasco County better,” said Borders.
But Pasco leaders say the county is very welcoming to everyone and point out that any local human right ordinance could be overruled by state anti-discrimination laws already in place.
Meanwhile, because of COVID-19, Pasco Pride had to cancel the festival they hold in Simms Park.
But they are now planning of month of events instead.
Some are in-person, others will be done virtually.
Fundraising efforts go toward helping those in the LGTBQ community who the Pasco Pride says are disproportionately affected by poverty and other social issues.
They are also planning a roadside clean up.
“Service is a really important part of what we do. It’s how we show unity in the community and how we show leadership,” said Pasco Pride vice president Anthony Avila.
Pasco Pride doesn’t have the history or scope that groups elsewhere have, but they are growing.
“We are a long way from being St. Pete or Tampa. But we are definitely trying. We are laying the groundwork and build something that will supersede me. That will supersede the current board,” said Borders.
For more information go to pascopridefestival.org.