A Florida county’s tourism promotion group has put out a video pushing diversity after concerns that several laws recently signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis would discourage business and tourism in the county.
Ad creators say the purpose of the campaign is to make sure that potential tourists to Broward county Florida know that everyone is “welcome” in the county. The push comes after DeSantis signed several bills in recent months intended to increase transparency in education.
Throughout the ad, words flash over shots of Florida scenery and beach goers, saying things like “we are sunshine,” “we are from 170 countries, speaking 147 languages,” “we are respectful of everyone,” and “we are champions of diversity.”
The ad also declares “we are advocates of changes,” as one person waves a rainbow flag, “we are welcoming of everyone with open minds and hearts,” “we are gay,” “we are truth,” and “we are pride,” as one shirtless man gives another man a piggy back ride.
“Whoever they love, whoever they marry, whoever they worship, they’re welcome here,” said Stacy Ritter of Visit Lauderdale, which promotes tourism to Broward County.
She also cited things “happening” at the state capital.
“We had already received indication as a result of things that were happening in our state capital,” Ritter added. “Tourism is our number one economy and we’ve seen the last few years that when tourist don’t come, people lose their jobs and the most important thing we can do, the most relevant thing we can do is to make sure people are employed.”
According to Florida’s Local10 news, some groups have canceled visits to South Florida after the passage of the Parental Rights In Education Act. The bill, which banned instruction in sexual or gender ideology in kindergarten through third grade, alongside the “Stop Woke Act,” raised the ire of major corporations and activist groups.
The American Society of Association Executives called the Stop Woke Act “regressive” and reached out to Visit Lauderdale, apparently concerned about diversity in Florida.
“This legislation is regressive and sets back society in our collective quest for progress on issues that plague this nation. Successful 21st century organizations understand the value of creating an inclusive culture,” the Association said.
Ritter said the memo from The American Association of Executives served as sort of a wakeup call.
“We knew it was time to remind people what our community values are,” she explained. “And when things happen at the state level that don’t necessarily align with your community’s values, you need to just remind people… that there are lots of people here who are welcoming and want you to come and have a great time no matter who you love, what you look like, or who or what you worship.”
Last month DeSantis spoke about the “fundamental” right that parents have in knowing what their children are being taught when signing the Parental Rights In Education Act.
He said that opponents of the bill supported sexualizing kindergarteners.
“They support injecting woke gender ideology into second grade classrooms. They support enabling schools to ‘transition students’ to a ‘different gender’ without the knowledge of the parent much less without the parents consent,” he said.
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