NYC Mayor uses Florida’s new school law to encourage LGBTQ residents to move to New York

New York Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday an ad campaign to persuade LGBTQ Floridians upset about a new law, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, into the Big Apple to pull.

“Today we say to the families who live in fear of this state-sponsored discrimination that you will always have a home in New York City,” Adams said, referring to a recently deceased Florida law which prohibits “instructional discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity at certain grade levels or in certain ways” in the state’s public schools.

said Adams at a press conference with LGBTQ advocates and city lawmakers that the measure was the “latest shameful, extremist culture war against the LGBTQ+ community” and announced a campaign inviting Floridians to “come to a city where you say and can be whoever you want”.

“We want you here in New York,” he said.

“This is the town of Stonewall. This is the city where we are proud to speak about how to live in a comfortable environment and not be molested, not abused – not only as adults but also as young people,” he said.

The ad campaign, which began Monday and will run through May 29, will include rainbow-strewn digital billboards and a social media push, the mayor’s office said. It targets five cities – Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach – and is expected to attract 5 million views. The campaign was paid for by corporate donations, Adams said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state measure called the Parental Rights in Education Bill last month.

“The law prohibits teaching about sex or things like ‘transgender’ in K by 3 classrooms,” DeSantis said at the signing of the law, adding that it will ensure “parents can send their children to school to get an education.” to receive, no indoctrination.”

Parents can sue school districts for damages or attorneys’ fees for alleged violations when the law goes into effect on July 1.

The Florida measure, introduced in January, has sparked months of outcry across the country, with Hollywood actors, corporate executives and the White House all opposing it.

The bill’s sponsors have repeatedly stressed that the measure would not ban students from talking about their LGBTQ families or discussing LGBTQ history in classrooms, including events such as the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, an Orlando gay nightclub. Instead, the measure would ban “instruction” about sexual orientation or gender identity, they said, without giving examples of what that would mean in the House and Senate debate.

Opponents say the legislation is unfairly targeting the LGBTQ community and that its “broad and vague” language would prevent youth and teachers from speaking openly about themselves and their families. They also argue that the law could open up districts to lawsuits from parents who believe talking about LGBTQ people or issues is inappropriate.

Last week, more than a dozen students, parents, educators, and attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against DeSantis and the state board of education, alleging the law would “stigmatize, silence, and wipe out LGBTQ individuals in Florida’s public schools.” NYC Mayor uses Florida’s new school law to encourage LGBTQ residents to move to New York

Caroline Bleakley

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