NYC to LGBTQ community: If Florida doesn't want you, move here

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NYC Mayor Eric Adams — Photo by Ed Reed / AP
NYC Mayor Eric Adams — Photo by Ed Reed / AP

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has launched an online ad campaign inviting Florida's LGBTQ community to move to his city in the wake of Florida's new "Don't Say Gay" law.

In response, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his spokespeople seem only too eager to see LGBTQ folks depart for New York.

Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor's Office  

New York's ad campaign — launched by Adams — is running in five Florida markets, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, through the end of May. It includes a social media component featuring a collage of the word "GAY" and an invitation to move to New York City "where you can say whatever you want."

"We [New York City] are proud to talk about how you can live in a comfortable setting and not be harassed, not be abused — not only as adults but also as young people," Adams added at an April 4 press conference.

DeSantis responded on April 5 with a post on his social media accounts, directly challenging Adams.

"They [New York City] are saying 'you can say whatever you want,' but they will force a mask on your face & muzzle you in public," DeSantis wrote.

"They just fired somebody who was criticizing the mayor for masking toddlers in New York. So if you speak up for the kids, they fire you from your job," said DeSantis.

The governor was referring to a city Law Department attorney who was fired after sneaking into an Adams press conference posing as a reporter and ranting at the mayor.

The governor's spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, was even more blunt.

"If anyone is so opposed to @GovRonDeSantis defending parental rights that they leave for a crime-ridden dystopia, Florida will be better off without them," she tweeted on April 5. "Countless NYers have moved here since the pandemic. I doubt many will leave due to our lack of K-3 gender theory instruction."

The Florida "Don't Say Gay" law, officially known as the Parental Rights in Education Act, bans instruction "about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students."

Adams was elected mayor of New York City last year. DeSantis has been governor of Florida since 2019, and is known to be considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.