In a powerful move, Florida’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group, Equality Florida, has taken to the airwaves with a striking television ad that draws a compelling parallel between Governor Ron DeSantis’ divisive policies and the destructive force of hurricanes. The ad, titled “#DeSantisFailedUs,” denounces a series of laws signed by DeSantis, which have had far-reaching consequences, particularly affecting LGBTQ+ individuals and education in the state.
Nadine Smith, the Executive Director of Equality Florida, voiced her concerns, stating, “Governor DeSantis launched an all-out assault on the core values of freedom, equality, and democracy.” She emphasized how DeSantis’s agenda, characterized by government intrusion and control, has jeopardized the right to make healthcare decisions for Floridians and their children.
The ad transcends pure LGBTQ+ issues, addressing a spectrum of intersectional matters. It highlights DeSantis’s endorsement of a bill banning abortions in the state after six weeks of pregnancy and the controversial “don’t say gay” law, which restricts discussions on LGBTQ+ topics in schools. The ad also criticizes DeSantis for interfering with the curriculum for an AP Black History course.
The narrator in the ad points out, “Ignoring Florida’s real problems while ripping books from school libraries, emboldening racism, targeting LGBTQ+ kids, censoring history.” Equality Florida’s message is clear: as DeSantis continues to sow discord, it is time to unite and work towards a future that includes everyone.
The repercussions of DeSantis’s policies are already evident, with between 20 and 30 percent of faculty at Florida universities leaving, and LGBTQ+ families considering leaving the state due to the hostile environment. Other states, like Minnesota and Colorado, have extended welcoming arms to Floridians seeking refuge from discrimination.
As DeSantis grapples with declining presidential polling and dwindling job approval ratings as Florida’s Governor, Equality Florida remains steadfast in its mission to raise awareness about the damage inflicted on basic freedoms in Florida and to advocate for a more inclusive future.