In a move aimed at boosting his city’s housing market, as well as showing solidarity with members of the LGBTQ community, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is launching a digital billboard campaign encouraging South Floridians disillusioned with the state’s new so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law to head to the Big Apple.
The campaign launched on Monday in five Florida cities, including Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and will run through the end of next month, according to a press release from Adams’ office. The other cities are Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the new law that bans teaching sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis, a leading contender to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, along with the GOP-majority Florida Legislature, championed the new law that Democrats and LGBTQ activists have denounced as a targeted attack on gay, bisexual, transgender and non-binary Floridians.
During a Monday press conference, Adams said New York is rolling out the welcome mat for any Floridians who feel threatened by the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.
“Listen, we want you right here in New York City,” Adams said. “And it’s more than just saying that. It’s also standing up and aligning ourselves with the men and women of the LGBTQ+ community and stating that we are in unison with you and your right to have self-identification, your right to live the lifestyle and live the lives that you choose to live without any form of harassment.”
In a prepared statement ahead of the press conference, Adams said that “families living in fear of this state-sponsored discrimination…will always have a home in New York City.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, New Yorkers have escaped the city’s lockdown measures by fleeing in droves to the Sunshine State, driving up home sale prices and apartment rents to record levels across Florida, especially in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The newcomers, used to paying higher rents in New York City, have led South Florida landlords to jack up rates as much as 24 percent in some areas. The trend has squeezed out locals and led Miami to become the least affordable housing market in the U.S., according to a RealtyHop report.