Pride organizers in Florida have canceled events that were to take place during pride month in the wake of the last one anti-HBT+ laws signed by Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis.
Organizers based in the city St Cloud outside Orlando announced on Thursday that it has canceled the upcoming June 10 event, saying it is aware that it is “unsafe to hold the event.”
“As you know, Florida has recently passed a number of laws targeting the LGBTQIA+ community. These laws have created a climate of fear and hostility for LGBTQIA+ people in Florida,” organizers said.
“We believe that an LGBTQIA+ event in this setting would put our community at risk.”
Port St. Lucie city officials and organizers announced the cancellation of Pride parades last month and restrictions on other activities for those 21 and older.
Mr. DeSantis, a 2024 presidential hopeful, signed several bills into law last week which prohibited gender-affirming care for minorslimited use of pronouns in schools and forced individuals to use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex—an expansion of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed into law last year.
The laws have been dubbed a “disc of hate” by activists and opponents.
The new laws will target drag shows in the state, restrict the use of preferred pronouns for students in schools, and ban transgender people from using public bathrooms that don’t match their gender assignment at birth.
The NAACP, a civil rights group, issued a formal travel advisory for Florida, claiming the state has become “openly hostile to African-Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.”
It condemned the state’s “aggressive efforts to erase black history and to curtail diversity, equity and inclusion programs in Florida’s schools.”
LGBT+ advocacy group Equality Florida also issued a similar advisory after DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law.
“This law, along with additional proposals under consideration, has turned the state’s classrooms into political battlegrounds and is telegraphing to LGBTQ families and students that they are not welcome in Florida,” the group said.
However, Florida’s Lake County Pride pushed back against the laws, saying, “No unconstitutional law will prevent us from celebrating our PRIDE event”.
“Lake County Pride will never back down, and we stood firm and united in the fight against the ‘drag ban,'” it said.