The Human Rights Campaign — the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group in the country — joined several other civil rights organizations Tuesday and issued a travel advisory for Florida, warning that newly passed state laws may pose risks to minorities, immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community.
The travel advisory from groups — including the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Florida Immigrant Coalition and Equality Florida — come as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his 2024 presidential bid on Wednesday during a discussion with Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
“Because of Ron DeSantis and his frenzied appeal to extremists, LGBTQ+ people in Florida are finding themselves in a state of emergency every single day,” president of the Human Rights Campaign Kelley Robinson said in a statement. “Since the day he took office, Governor DeSantis has weaponized his position to weave bigotry, hate, and discrimination into public law for his own political gain.”
The organization did not call for a boycott or a blanket recommendation against travel but outlined some of the new, restrictive laws passed by DeSantis and the Republican-controlled legislature — including “laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety policies, foment racial prejudice, and attack public education by banning books and censoring curriculum.”
“Those who visit must join us in their vocal opposition to these dangerous policies,” Robinson added. “Those who pick another place to work, to go to school or to spend their vacation should make clear why they’re not heading to Florida.”
While he is set to officially announce Wednesday, DeSantis has been quietly campaigning for president for at least the past year, using his GOP-dominated state legislature to pass laws that’ll appeal to the furthest-right MAGA voters and in turn helping to normalize the passage of sweeping anti-LBGTQ+ and “anti-woke” laws in other red states across the U.S.