23 May 2023

Largest US gay rights group issues Florida travel advisory for anti-LGBT laws

23 May 2023

The largest LGBT+ rights organisation in the US joined other civil rights organisations on Tuesday in issuing a travel advisory for Florida, warning that newly passed laws and policies may pose risks to minorities, immigrants and gay travellers.

The Human Rights Campaign joined the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and Equality Florida in issuing travel or relocation warnings for the Sunshine State, one of the most popular states for tourists to visit in the US.

While the LGBT+ advocacy group said it was not calling for a boycott or making a blanket recommendation against visiting Florida, it said it wanted to highlight new laws passed by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature that they said are hostile to the LGBT+ community, restrict abortion access and allow Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

“Those who visit must join us in their vocal opposition to these dangerous policies,” Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, 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.”

Last weekend, the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organisation, issued its advisory warning that recent laws and policies championed by Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida politicians are “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of colour and LGBTQ+ individuals”.

More than 137.5 million tourists visited Florida last year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to Visit Florida, the state’s tourism promotion agency.

Tourism supports 1.6 million full-time and part-time jobs, and visitors spent 98.8 billion dollars (£80 billion) in Florida in 2019, according to last year’s figures.

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