Minorities, immigrants and now members of the LGBTQ community are being warned of the risks of visiting Florida after the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group issued a travel advisory following newly passed laws and policies that may be harmful to people in those communities.
On Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign in partnership with Equality Florida, a state LGBTQ advocacy group, issued an updated travel notice outlining potential impacts of six bills that were recently passed, many of which have already been signed by the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
“While not a blanket recommendation against travel nor a call for boycott, the travel advisory outlines the devastating impacts of laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ community,” the advocacy group said in a statement.
Over the weekend, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for Florida “in direct response to … DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.” And days earlier, LULAC – the League of United Latin American Citizens – issued its travel advisory after DeSantis signed a new immigration law that will go into effect in July.
The advisories from these advocacy groups come as DeSantis has filed to run for president in 2024 with a campaign built around a conservative agenda over the years in Florida.
LULAC and the NAACP have said actions under the DeSantis administration are “hostile” to their communities.
Tuesday’s Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida notice outlines updates made to a previously issued travel warning “to detail the impacts of laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety laws and allow untrained, unpermitted carry, and foment racial prejudice.”
The advisory highlights policies DeSantis has signed into law like new restrictions on gender-affirming treatments for transgender minors, drag shows, bathroom usage and which pronouns can be used in school.
LGBTQ advocates in the state criticized the legislation as a larger effort to erase them from Florida schools and society.
One measure prohibits transgender children from receiving gender-affirming treatments, including prescriptions that block puberty hormones or sex-reassignment surgeries. Under the law, a court could intervene to temporarily remove a child from their home if they receive gender-affirming treatments or procedures, and it treats such health care options, which are supported by the American Medical Association, the same as it would a case of child abuse.
DeSantis also signed a provision restricting teachers, faculty and students from using the pronouns of their choice in public schools. That bill declares that it must be the policy of all schools that “a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait” and “it is false” to use a pronoun other than the sex on a person’s birth certificate. It also affirmed that sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be taught in schools through eighth grade, codifying a state Board of Education decision to block such topics in all grades, from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
“Those who visit must join us in their vocal opposition to these dangerous policies,” Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign president, said in a statement. “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.
“And to all of our friends and family in Florida, we stand with you and with Equality Florida – we’ll keep working hard to make Florida feel more like the home you deserve it to be.”
CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Kit Maher and Steve Contorno contributed to this report.