Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Chalo Garcia
Advocacy Groups Issue Travel Warnings For The State of Florida
Equality Florida, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, has released a travel advisory to caution individuals about the risks of visiting or relocating to Florida. In their statement, the group expressed their concern over the state’s school censorship, book bans, and healthcare restrictions that have made the area unsafe for children. The sweeping changes are leading some parents to sell their homes and move away.
This has resulted in canceled events, conferences, and a growing number of students unwilling to enroll in state universities.
Additionally, the Florida Immigration Coalition has issued a similar warning to immigrants. The Coalition is advising immigrants to exercise extreme caution while traveling to any part of Florida. They are deeming the state unsafe for people of color, those who speak with an accent, and international travelers.
According to the Coalition, unconstitutional legislation introduced by the Legislative Leadership and supported by Governor Ron DeSantis has heightened the risk of harassment, detainment, and potential family separation based on racial profiling in every county of the state.
Problematic Legislation Leads To Florida Travel Warnings
The Florida State Conference of the NAACP has joined the growing number of organizations issuing travel warnings against Florida. The chairman of the Board of Directors, Leon W. Russell, stated that erasing history does not bode well for the future of children and the community.
Critics have denounced the Parental Rights in Education bill for its “Don’t Say Gay” provision. The bill was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis last year and prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not appropriate for students in accordance with state standards. The bill has since been widely criticized as harmful.
Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill mandates that schools notify parents of any changes in their child’s mental or emotional well-being, which could out LGBTQ+ students without their knowledge or consent. Parents can sue the school district for violation of this policy.
Governor DeSantis, who is reportedly considering a 2024 presidential run, is exploring expanding this law to cover all grades.
DeSantis has also signed legislation that restricts transgender rights. The legislation prohibits transgender women from participating in sports teams intended for those assigned female at birth. It also bans gender-affirming care for transgender children.
Additionally, Florida has passed legislation censoring Black history in schools and prohibiting books on race and LGBTQ+ issues.
Sweeping Changes Happening in Florida
In other news, Governor DeSantis signed a bill allowing Florida residents to carry weapons without a license, training, or background check.
The state also banned abortions after six weeks. DeSantis is also engaging in a public feud with Disney since the corporation criticized the Don’t Say Gay bill.