...By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
The largest LGBT+ rights organization in the US, the Human Rights Campaign, joined forces with other civil rights organizations to issue a travel advisory for Florida.
The advisory aims to raise awareness about potential risks faced by minorities, immigrants, and gay travelers due to recently passed laws and policies.
Coalition of Civil Rights Organizations
The Human Rights Campaign collaborated with prominent civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and Equality Florida.
Together, they issued travel and relocation warnings for Florida, a state known as a popular tourist destination in the US.
Clarification of Intent and Highlighted Concerns
While the LGBT+ advocacy group did not call for a boycott or discourage visiting Florida entirely, it sought to draw attention to new laws enacted by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature.
These laws were identified as hostile toward the LGBT+ community, restrictive on abortion access, and allowing concealed weapon carrying without a permit.
The Human Rights Campaign emphasized the need for visitors to vocally oppose these policies.
Call to Action and Alternative Choices
Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, urged those who visit Florida to express their vocal opposition to the dangerous policies.
Additionally, individuals considering work, education, or vacation options were encouraged to choose alternatives to Florida and make it known why they opted for other destinations.
Previous Advisory from the NAACP
Prior to the LGBT+ rights organization’s advisory, the NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in the US, had already issued its own warning.
The NAACP expressed concerns about recent laws and policies championed by Governor Ron DeSantis and other Florida politicians, which were deemed openly hostile towards African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
Importance of Tourism for Florida
Florida received over 137.5 million tourists last year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, making it a significant state for tourism.
Visit Florida, the state’s tourism promotion agency, reported that tourism supports 1.6 million jobs, both full-time and part-time.
In 2019, visitors spent a substantial amount of $98.8 billion (£80 billion) in Florida, highlighting the economic impact of tourism in the state.