Florida can’t outlaw the LGBTQ community – The Oracle

DeSantis’ laws against the LGBT community are not only harmful, but incredibly out of line given how widespread gay and trans citizens have become in recent years. SPECIAL FOR THE ORACLE

On May 17, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed several bills into law that openly discriminate against the LGBTQ community, according to a May 17 article in the orlando sentinel.

These bills prohibit the use of pronouns in schools that differ from an individual’s gender at birth, allow trans people to only use bathrooms that correspond to their gender at birth, and much more. These are just the latest attempts by the governor to drive members of the LGBTQ community out of the state.

The LGBTQ community and culture are entrenched in the state of Florida, and DeSantis must stop targeting them with these new laws in an attempt to scare them away.

These new laws have aroused some fear among the members of this community. Advocacy groups like Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign have issued travel advisories for the state.

“Florida’s list of laws and policies that focus on basic freedoms and rights pose a significant risk to the health and safety of many who are considering relocation and/or temporary travel to the state,” he said. florida equality in the notice of May 23.

Lerren Bradley-Tyler, an officer with the Queer and Trans People of Color Collective club at USF, is also concerned about the legislation.

“Today I proudly hang my pride flags, photos of me with my wife and exist out loud. I fear for the day when I can no longer do it without fear of retaliation,” Bradley-Tyler said in a May 27 interview with The Oracle.

Despite DeSantis’ efforts, the LGBTQ community is still alive and well in Florida.

From a logistical standpoint, not all LGBTQ citizens can move out of Florida. In 2021, 17% of LGBTQ residents in the US suffered from poverty, according to a February 2023 report from williams institute. While this represents a 6% drop from 2020, it shows that there are many gay, bisexual, trans and non-binary citizens who simply cannot afford to walk away from this toxic environment that DeSantis is creating.

Still, Florida has an LGBTQ population of 886,000, according to a 2020 study by the Williams Institute.

The 2022 St. Pete Pride event drew about 260,000 attendees, according to a 2022 report from The Tampa Bay Times. This goes to show that even in difficult times, there is still widespread love and support from the community to build these massive celebrations.

There are also several ongoing lawsuits to argue against many of DeSantis’s policies. Hamburger Mary’s, a restaurant that has hosted “‘family'” drag shows on Sundays since 2008, decided to sue DeSantis and the state of Florida after they lost 20% of their reservations following their laws banning children from entering. to a venue with “live performances for adults,” according to a May 22, 2019 article. orlando sentinel.

With Pride Month coming up, there are also celebrations planned in areas like Orlando or Lake County that show members of the community aren’t afraid to be themselves, according to a May 25 article. orlando sentinel.

While DeSantis claims these bills are to protect children, members of the LGBTQ community say they feel their community is being specifically targeted, according to an April 24 statement. article by the Tampa Bay Times. Many also point to hypocrisy because these new laws also target transgender children, meaning that the stated purposes behind these bills only protect straight children, while endangering gay and trans children.

The bills are also economically flawed, as pride events typically require a large amount of funding and generate a lot of money from attendees. The Tampa Pride on the River event was canceled due to the same “anti-drag law” that is affecting Hamburger Mary’s. The measure will cost the organization $100,000, according to a May 18, wfla.

DeSantis will not be able to alienate such a strong community with these laws. LGBTQ citizens have been fighting for their rights for most of their lives, and all these bills are going to do is lead to more protests against the governor, while restricting the rights of many people. It is about time you realized this and stop passing these destructive laws.