Equality Florida issues travel advisory about visiting, moving to state

Group cites recent 'hostile' laws to LGBTQ+ community
Flights Grounded
Posted at 3:35 PM, Apr 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-12 15:37:21-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Equality Florida issued a travel advisory Wednesday, warning of the "risks posed to the health, safety and freedom" of those considering traveling or moving to the Sunshine State.

The St. Petersburg-based LGBTQ+ organization cited a series of recent laws making their way through the Florida Legislature "that are hostile to the LGBTQ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety laws, foment racial prejudice, and attack public education by banning books and censoring curriculum."

"As an organization that has spent decades working to improve Florida's reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live work and visit, it is with great sadness that we must respond to those asking if it is safe to travel to Florida or remain in the state as the laws strip away basic rights and freedoms," Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith said in a statement. "While losing conferences, and top students who have written off Florida threatens lasting damage to our state, it is most heartbreaking to hear from parents who are selling their homes and moving because school censorship, book bans and health care restrictions have made their home state less safe for their children. We understand everyone must weigh the risks and decide what is best for their safety, but whether you stay away, leave or remain, we ask that you join us in countering these relentless attacks."

It follows last month's similar move by the NAACP Florida State Conference, which unanimously voted in favor of asking the national board to issue a travel advisory.

A spokesman for Gov. Ron DeSantis provided a brief statement when asked about the travel ban.

"As the governor noted previously, this type of thing is a political stunt," Bryan Griffin said in an email to WPTV. "We aren't going to waste time worrying about political stunts but will continue doing what is right for Floridians."