Eight Florida mayors have pledged their
support for the LGBTQ community as Governor Ron DeSantis, a
Republican, plans to sign additional bills that target the community.
Leaders from Orlando, Miami Beach,
Tallahassee, Gainesville, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, and Tampa
have signed a pledge declaring their communities a safe and affirming
place for LGBTQ Floridians.
The pledge is the work of GLSEN, which
advocates for LGBTQ students.
The group's “Rise
Up for LGBTQ+ Youth” pledge states: “I pledge to advocate for
safe learning environments where young people, their teachers, and
school staff are free from the violence of racism, transphobia,
homophobia, sexism, ableism, and all forms of systemic oppression. I
pledge to advocate for LGBTQ+ affirming books, resources, and
curriculum in schools. I pledge to rise up against hateful
anti-LGBTQ+ bills and rhetoric.”
“In Fort Lauderdale, you can be who
you are without fear of reproach,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean
Trantalis, who is openly gay. “The city boasts a stalwart human
rights ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation
and gender identity in areas of employment, housing, and public
accommodations. Discrimination of any kind, particularly towards our
LGBTQ+ children, has no place in any part of our society. Greater
Fort Lauderdale boasts one of highest concentrations of same-sex
households in the nation, and we welcome in an average of over 1.3
million LGBTQ+ visitors each year.”
DeSantis, a possible 2024 presidential
candidate, has signed a number of bills into law that target the
LGBTQ community and is expected to sign additional bills approved by
the Republican-led legislature, including a bill approved Thursday
that allows the state to remove transgender minors from their homes
if they are receiving gender-affirming care.
Nearly five percent of Florida's adult
population self-identifies as LGBTQ, according to data collected by
Gallup in 2019.