Adams takes aim at ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law with new campaign inviting LGBTQ Floridians to NYC

Posted On Mon, April 4, 2022 By

Posted On Mon, April 4, 2022 By In Policy

Photo Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

New York City on Monday rolled out a new marketing campaign in Florida inviting the state’s LGBTQ community to move to the five boroughs in response to the recent “Don’t Say Gay” legislation signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The five ads, which will run across digital billboards and on social media in five cities in the Sunshine State, are meant to highlight the inclusiveness of New York City and take aim at the new legislation, which bans the teaching and conversation of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten to third grade in the Florida school system. The campaign also comes after DeSantis released an ad showing New Yorkers who moved to Florida.

On March 28, DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, also known as House Bill 1557, into effect. The law bans the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida’s school system for children in kindergarten through third grade. The bill’s strict ban on even the slightest discussion of these topics earned it the nickname “Don’t Say Gay” by opponents.

“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,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.

“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.”

The rainbow-colored ads include phrases like “Come to the city where you can say whatever you want,” “When other states show their true colors, we show ours,” and “New York City is alive. And so is free speech.”

Adams’ ads will run for eight weeks through May 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. The content was designed in partnership with VMLY&R, GroupM, BCW, and H+K Strategie. The ad space, which does not use city taxpayer money, was donated by Kinetic.

The new campaign comes soon after Adams came under fire for hiring several officials who have made anti-gay comments in the past, including former Council Member Fernando Cabrera and Erick Salgado, as Gothamist reported.

“Over 40 percent of the 2,000 LGBTQ+ youths Ali Forney Center sees every year come from outside the Empire State, and a majority come to us from the south,” Alex Roque, executive director of the Ali Forney Center, which supports LGBT homeless youth, said. “New York City has been a beacon of acceptance, hope, and love. AFC applauds the City of New York for supporting proudly, loudly, and visibly efforts to demonstrate for LGBTQ+ youths that they are welcome here to be who they are.”

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