On Tuesday (May 22), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the U.S.’s largest LGBTQ rights group, issued a warning against traveling to Florida, citing the passage of several new state laws targeting LGBTQ+ people.
In Tuesday’s announcement, the HRC said it is working with Florida-based LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida to provide updated travel information to the state.
Equality Florida issued its initial warning in April after the Sunshine State’s Legislature enacted a series of measures limiting access to gender-affirming health care and abortion and loosened gun restrictions.
Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature has passed six bills targeting LGBTQ rights since the start of this year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Four of those were signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) last week; DeSantis is rumored to be jumping into the GOP’s 2024 presidential primary on Wednesday (May 24).
In Tuesday’s travel advisory, the HRC and Florida Equidry suggested Florida’s laws and policies “targeting basic freedoms and rights” pose a significant threat to the health and safety of many people who are considering relocating or temporarily traveling to the state.
Reports are already emerging of the state becoming an increasingly hostile place for LGBTQ people.
Florida organizers this month canceled several LGBTQ Pride events planned for June, claiming the new laws are creating “a climate of fear and hostility” for Florida’s LGBTQ residents.
A Florida elementary school teacher announced earlier this month that the state Department of Education is investigating her after she showed her students the Disney animated film “Strange World,” which featured a gay character.
Healthcare providers have also announced their plans to pause gender-reaffirming surgery in the state.