NYC Mayor Eric Adams just announced that the city is responding to a controversial Florida law — colloquially referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” but officially called the “Parental Rights in Education” law — with a series of digital billboards that will denounce the legislation as well as communicate NYC’s welcoming stance toward the LGBTQ+ community and invite affected Floridians to consider moving to the Empire State.
The city has organized five different messages that will run across digital billboards and social media across Florida, which you can see examples of below.
The digital billboards will be displayed in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach from April 4 through May 29, slated to reach five million impressions. The ad space is entire donated, secured by Kinetic.
The bill was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on March 28. He said it “reinforces parents’ fundamental rights to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children.” In doing so, it prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
At the press conference today (4/4/22) announcing the news, Adams said: “I am the mayor of New York City, but I have a message for Florida’s LGBTQ+ community — come to a city where you can say and be whoever you want. Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill is the latest shameful, extremist culture war targeting the LGBTQ+ community.
Today, we say to the families living in fear of this state-sponsored discrimination that you will always have a home in New York City.
House Bill (HB) 1557 states verbatim: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Many who have criticized the bill say that it is a direct attack on the LGBTQ community, and because of the vague wording of the bill, can open up the opportunity for lawsuits that may prevent teachers discussing the topic within the education system at all (even potentially for older children).
President Biden himself stated that, “Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom. Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are. My Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family — in Florida and around the country.”