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Officials kickoff Gay Pride Week at Columbus City Hall

As lights illuminate Columbus City Hall the colors of the rainbow, the kickoff to gay pride week took on new meaning this year.

As lights illuminate Columbus City Hall the colors of the rainbow, the kickoff to gay pride week took on new meaning this year.

With the deadly gay nightclub massacre in Orlando still fresh on everyone’s minds, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said safety is a priority for Columbus gay pride this weekend and she reminds those thinking of staying home that there is strength in numbers.

“Keeping our streets safe is much easier to do when there’s a lot of people using our streets. I really do think they will have lot of fun and I don’t want people to say I can’t go back out because when would you go back out,” Chief Jacobs said..

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called on all Columbus residents to pitch in and help Pulse Nightclub shooting victims in Orlando by either donating money, blood or time to march this weekend.

It’s the third year Columbus City Hall has been lit up in the colors of the rainbow flag. White, pink and blue lights shine at the top of city hall for the colors of the trans flag.

Longtime Columbus resident and gay activist Steve Shellabarger helped with the lighting as he was presented with the first ever illuminator award. Moving forward that honor will be called the Steve Shellabarger Award.

The city also temporarily renamed Gay Street in downtown Columbus to ‘Stonewall Pride Lane’.