New York City will launch an ad campaign in Florida denouncing a new law that opponents have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
To “celebrate the diversity and acceptance of New York City,” Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday the campaign will feature both billboards and creative ads in five major Florida cities: Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale.
This comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill into law last week.
What opponents are calling the “Don’t Say Gay” law has gotten the attention of other states across the country. New York City’s campaign is part of a greater opposition to Florida’s new law.
“This political showmanship of attempting to demonize a particular group or community is unacceptable. And we are going to loudly show our support and say to those who are living in Florida – ‘listen, we want you here in New York. We want you right here in New York City,’” Adams said.
The “Parental Rights in Education bill” (HB 1557) says “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
The New York City ad campaign is intended to show support for the LGBTQ community in Florida in response to the “state-sponsored discrimination,” Adams said.
“We will continue to stand fast and be supportive of this community that has contributed to the diversity of our city, and we believe that this is the city that will always allow that diversity to take place,” the mayor added.
All advertisements under this campaign have been donated and will be of no cost to New York City taxpayers, he said.
Opponents of Florida’s law say it would negatively impact an already marginalized community. They point to data showing that LGBTQ youth reported lower rates of attempting suicide when they had access to LGBTQ-affirming spaces.
Other politicians have criticized the law. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that it’s “not something that would have happened” in Maryland.
And in corporate America, former Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNN+ host Chris Wallace that executives should voice their opinions about ethical dilemmas.
“A lot of these issues are not necessarily political,” Iger told Wallace. “It’s about right and wrong. So, I happen to feel and I tweeted an opinion about the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in Florida. To me, it wasn’t about politics. It is about what is right and what is wrong, and that just seemed wrong. It seemed potentially harmful to kids.”
Iger spoke to Wallace before the law was passed.
In March, dozens of Disney employees in Burbank, California, organized protests opposing the bill after CEO Bob Chapek initially opted not to speak out against it. He later apologized. Large groups of employees gathered in front of the Walt Disney Animation studio, walked out in front of the Walt Disney Company office building and took to social media with the hashtag #DisneyDoBetter.
Students had also voiced their opposition. Gen Z students had organized walk outs across the country in support of the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ students often chanting “We Say Gay.” Mass walk outs have occurred since the Florida bill passed in the Senate, before it reached the governor.