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Tipsheet

There's Been Yet Another Florida Travel Advisory

In what could very likely be a reaction to Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R-FL) coming announcement that he is running for president, yet another leftist organization has issued a travel advisory for Florida. On Tuesday afternoon, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) became the latest to do so, this time with regards to "Florida’s most anti-LGBTQ legislative session in history."

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If such an advisory sounds familiar, that's because a group known as Equality Florida issued a similar travel advisory over a month ago. In fact, the HRC statement references Equality Florida and mentions they are issuing an "updated" advisory. 

"While not a blanket recommendation against travel nor a call for boycott, the travel advisory outlines the devastating impacts of laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety policies, foment racial prejudice, and attack public education by banning books and censoring curriculum in order that prospective travelers or residents can make the best decisions for themselves and their families," the HRC statement reads. It's worth wondering what is even the point, then, other than to make themselves heard and remain relevant. 

As the statement laments, DeSantis has been productive signing laws to protect constitutional rights and important values. Last month he signed a bill on constitutional carry, and he also signed a bill banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, at around six weeks. He's been busy this month too, also signing legislation to further protect children from irreversible procedures that could lead to genital mutilation and sterilization, as well as curtailing spending on the divisive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs at the state’s public colleges.  

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When it comes to the "banning books" claim that we so often hear from the left, the governor addressed that "hoax" in a press conference in March, where he highlighted the sexually explicit books made available to students. 

Other than lamenting the common sense bills DeSantis has signed and policies he has championed, the updated travel advisory from Equality Florida makes a telling point about travel to and residency in Florida:

Taken in their totality, Florida’s slate of laws and policies targeting basic freedoms and rights pose significant risk to the health and safety of many considering relocation and/or temporary travel to the state. We deeply regret that these attacks have already led LGBTQ families and others to flee the state and are driving more to consider relocation. And, in a state whose economy is fueled by visitors from around the world, it is with great sadness that Equality Florida has had to take the extraordinary step of responding to inquiries by issuing an official advisory warning of the risks associated with travel to the state.

If Equality Florida's concern was really to do with "a state whose economy is fueled by visitors from around the world," they likely don't need to have that "great sadness" after all, considering that people are fleeing liberal places like New York for Florida in droves. 

At the time of the initial advisory last month, more than 10,000 New Yorkers had moved to Florida so far in 2023. The governor's office also announced in February that Florida had welcomed 137.6 million visitors in 2022, breaking the record for the highest visitation in state history. 

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As HRC themselves acknowledged, Florida has been hit with similar travel advisories from groups like the NAACP and LULAC. The travel advisory from the NAACP is particularly ridiculous though, because as Julio pointed out, not only have many of the organization's board members have not only vacationed in Florida, but the Chairman of the Board of Directors Leon Russell actually lives in Tampa. 

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