Florida LGBTQ rights group issues travel warning telling the queer community it may no longer be safe to move to or visit the state
- Florida's largest LGBTQ advocacy group issued a travel advisory on Wednesday.
- Equality Florida warned LGBTQ individuals against visiting or moving to the state.
Florida's largest LGBTQ advocacy organization took the rare step of issuing a travel advisory on Wednesday, warning queer individuals, families, entrepreneurs, and students against visiting and taking up residence in the state.
Equality Florida said that issuing the travel advisory was an "unprecedented" move and a response to a slate of "hateful" laws and policies signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The advisory concluded that Florida "may not be a safe place" to visit or take up residence because of the passage of new laws and policies that are "hostile" to LGBTQ communities and may pose a "serious risk" to the health and safety of visitors.
It highlighted a number of laws and policies aimed at transgender Floridians, including a policy to restrict access to gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth and a law to prevent transgender female students from playing on women's and girls' sports teams.
The advisory also referenced the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, which is formally called The Parental Rights in Education Act. The bill prohibits public schools from having classroom discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through to third grade.
Florida's Board of Education is considering an expansion to the law.
Meanwhile, the "far-right's obsession with drag queens" poses a potential security risk to visitors, the advisory said, noting both the recent protests and counter-protests outside Florida venues hosting drag shows, as well as the DeSantis administration's move to revoke the Hyatt Regency Miami's alcohol license after one of its facilities hosted a drag show.
Other organizations also issued a travel advisory on Wednesday, with the Florida Immigrant Coalition, a coalition of 65 member organizations, warning people of color, individuals who speak with an accent, and international travelers against visiting the state.
Last month, the NAACP Florida State Conference voted unanimously in favor of asking the NAACP Board of Directors to issue a travel advisory for the state of Florida.
Insider contacted DeSantis' office for comment. His deputy press secretary, Jeremy T. Redfern, responded by dismissing the travel advisories as "political stunts."
"We aren't going to waste our time worrying about political stunts," Redfern said.
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