ORLANDO, Fla. – The top statewide LGBTQ advocacy group is warning people to stay away from Florida.
Equality Florida issued a travel advisory Wednesday, telling people that “Florida may not be a safe place to visit or take up residence.”
“Florida has recently adopted a slate of hateful laws, and is fast-tracking additional measures that directly target the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and basic freedoms broadly,” the travel advisory states.
Equality Florida cites moves by the state government to ban gender-affirming care for minors and taxpayer-funded Medicaid coverage for transgender adults, bills that target discussions of sexual orientation or identity in schools, and restrictions on drag performances and possibly public pride events.
Efforts to punish the Walt Disney Company for speaking out against the Parental Rights in Education law, known to critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, are also mentioned.
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The travel advisory also cites efforts to strip colleges and universities of diversity, equity and inclusion programs and the passage of permitless carry of guns.
“In a state whose economy is fueled by visitors from around the world, it is with great sadness that Equality Florida has had to take the extraordinary step of responding to inquiries by issuing an official advisory warning about the risks of travel to the state,” the travel advisory states.
Equality Florida Press Secretary Brandon Wolf told News 6 that he feels as though Florida is not a safe state.
“The question we keep getting is, ‘What are the risks?’” he said. “Is it really safe right now for me, for my family, to travel to the state of Florida.”
Last month, the Florida chapters of the NAACP urged the national organization to put out a similar travel advisory, citing the passage of recent laws, including permitless carry.
“We plan to educate those who plan to visit, move, drive, breathe anything in the state of Florida,” said Marsha Ellison, president of the Ft. Lauderdale Broward chapter of the NAACP.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, in response to the NAACP advisory, called it a stunt and a joke.
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