An LGBTQ group in Florida has been criticized for issuing “travel advice” urging members of the LGBTQ community to avoid the Sunshine State due to recent laws restricting their “health, safety, and freedom.”
Equality Florida has made headlines by saying that the “extreme policies” of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis have made the state more dangerous for gay Americans to live, work and study.
DeSantis has spearheaded an ‘anti-wake-up’ populist agenda aimed at restricting sex-change therapies for transgender children and education on gender, race, and sexuality in schools and colleges.
DeSantis’ office dismissed the false travel warning as a “political stunt”.
Critics pounced on Equality Florida, saying the civil rights group wasn’t really working for LGBT people, especially young Florida men who struggled with their identity.
Florida Equality made headlines by issuing a “travel advisory,” saying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ policies made the state more dangerous for gay Americans to live, work, and study.
DeSantis has spearheaded an ‘anti-wake-up’ populist agenda aimed at restricting sex-change therapies for transgender children and limiting treatment of sexual, racial, and gender identities in schools and colleges.
“I’m sure this will do wonders for the mental health of young people in Florida,” said Lior Sapir, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based conservative think tank.
“Nothing says ‘we have your back’ like convincing psychologically unstable teens that the environment they live in is more hostile and desperate than they imagine.
Meanwhile, trans woman-to-man influencer Ollie London slammed the group for being “woke” and pushing irreversible medical procedures on trans minors.
“The group, which pushes teens to have double mastectomy and genital reassignment in the name of gender identity, is now advising all members of the LGBTQ community not to travel to Florida,” London wrote on Twitter.
Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, said on Wednesday it was taking the “unusual step” of issuing a travel advisory, urging LGBT people, families, business people and students not to visit the state.
Travel advisories are usually issued by the US State Department or similar departments in foreign governments, urging citizens to beware of natural disasters, terrorism, civil unrest, and other problems at the destination.
The group said Florida “may not be a safe place” to visit or stay due to 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 described the advisory as ‘unprecedented’ and in response to a series of ‘hateful’ anti-LGBT laws and policies signed by DeSantis, who is widely tipped to be seeking the Republican presidential nomination next year.
Members of Florida’s LGBTQ community have criticized DeSantis’ policies. At the event in Lake Worth Beach, Florida, demonstrators shouted “We say gay!” In rejection of the Conservative campaign
One of DeSantis’ signature policies bans classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade or in an age-inappropriate manner, and opponents of the law have dubbed “Don’t Say Like Me.”
Last year, when he and his health department campaigned against sex-change treatments for minors and pushed state health regulators to ban the care, advocates called it “gender affirming.”
The ban, which was approved by two state boards and went into effect this year, bans sex reassignment surgeries and puberty barriers for minors. Officials said the treatments are experimental and dangerous for children.
In a statement about the travel advisory, Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, said these and other laws “strip away basic rights and freedoms” and lead to mass exodus from the state.
“It’s so heartbreaking to hear from parents who are selling their homes and moving because school censorship, book bans and health care restrictions have made their home state less safe for their children,” Smith said.
“Whether you stay away, leave, or stay, we ask that you join us in facing these relentless attacks.”
Teaching about sexual and gender identity in schools and providing puberty blockers and sex hormones for transgender children has become a front line in the culture wars between liberals and conservatives.