The largest LGBTQ+ rights group in the country has issued a warning for those travelling to Florida.
In a Tuesday announcement, the HRC partnered with local organization Equality Florida to issue a travel advisory for the state. Over six anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been enacted in the state just this year, signed by Republican governor Ron DeSantis.
“Because of Ron DeSantis and his frenzied appeal to extremists, LGBTQ+ people in Florida are finding themselves in a state of emergency every single day," HRC President Kelley Robinson said. "Since the day he took office, Governor DeSantis has weaponized his position to weave bigotry, hate, and discrimination into public law for his own political gain.
The advisory comes in direct response to laws imposing criminal penalties on transgender people who use a bathroom that doesn't align with their birth sex. The HRC also estimates that over 80 percent of transgender patients have lost access to healthcare after restrictions on gender-affirming care.
DeSantis has also recently cracked-down on education, which has restricted topics involving racism and LGBTQ+ identities, requiring books in schools to be approved by a state trained media specialist. His administration recently blocked a nationally taught AP African American History class for having a "political agenda," as well as banned diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at the college level, which also prohibits gender studies classes.
Earlier this week, the NAACP also issued a travel advisory for Black people visiting Florida, warning that the state has become "hostile to Black Americans." The HRC noted the decision in their statement, indicating solidarity between the organizations.
"Those who visit must join us in their vocal opposition to these dangerous policies. 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," Robinson continued. "And to all of our friends and family in Florida, we stand with you. ... We'll keep working hard to make Florida feel more like the home you deserve it to be.”