Los Angeles County bans official travel to Florida over controversial 'Don't Say Gay' law

Motion calls Florida's legislation 'uncomfortable, unsafe, unwelcoming and toxic'
Los Angeles County and Florida seals superimposed in sky where airplane flying over Los International Airport
Posted at 11:32 AM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 11:55:58-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The largest county in the U.S. is banning all official travel to Florida because of the state's controversial LGBTQ+ policies.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to forbid any taxpayer-funded business-related travel to the Sunshine State.

The travel ban also applies to Texas.

"As we've done in the past where states have enacted some egregious laws that contravene everything that we done in L.A. County and in California, this motion calls for a travel ban on all travel to these states," Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said during Tueday's meeting, according to KTLA.

Kuehl, who co-sponsored the motion with Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, said the travel ban "sends a message that we won't support this egregious behavior."

The move came after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law a bill that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, which opponents have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" law.

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"The kind of school environment imagined in this legislation is one that is uncomfortable, unsafe, unwelcoming and toxic for all students and staff alike, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+," the motion reads, in part.

DeSantis has defended the Parental Rights in Education law, saying it gives parents a greater voice in their children's educational upbringing.

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Many L.A. County residents who spoke during public comment at Tuesday's meeting seemed to support the motion, including Halle Schaffer, who said recent policies in Florida and Texas "have no other incentives but to harm the well-being of transgender, gender non-conforming and queer individuals."

Isabel Tecum, whose daughter is part of the LGBTQ+ community, agreed, saying she wants her daughter to feel safe wherever she goes.

But at least one resident, Rachelle Paniccia, shamed the Board of Supervisors for their actions.

"This is government overreach because of personal feelings," she said.

The motion states that all county business-related travel to Florida is suspended unless it's determined "that the failure to authorize such travel would seriously harm the county's interests."