NYC digital billboard campaign speaking out against ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law spotted in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis is firing back after the mayor of New York City invited Floridians to move to the Big Apple in response to the controversial new Florida law that limits how gender identity and sexual orientation can be taught to young children.

The digital campaign was spotted on at least one billboard in Jacksonville. The example above was briefly spotted Tuesday at Southside Blvd and Hogan Rd in Jacksonville.

The campaign is meant to be a strong statement against the law that was titled the “Parental Rights in Education” bill.

Critics call it the “Don’t Say Gay” law because it does put limits on what school teachers can discuss surrounding these topics.

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Related: NYC mayor to Floridians: Come here where you can say gay | Paxon students participate in walkout to protest Parental Rights in Education law

Messages on the digital billboards include: “People say a lot of ridiculous things in New York. ‘Don’t Say Gay’ isn’t one of them” and “Come to the city where you can say whatever you want.” There will also be social media ads with the same messages, city officials said.

In a press conference with the New York City Mayor’s Office, the manager of the city’s LGBTQ programs through the education department relayed her personal experience growing up as a member of the LGBTQ community.

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“I was forced to be living with shame because I thought there was something wrong with me because no one was allowed to talk about it and that is not how any young person should grow up,” Kalima Mckenzie-Simms, LGBTQ programs manager at the NYC Dept. of Education, said.

Earlier this month these same billboards were posted in major cities around Florida, funded by progressive political action committees and attacking the same legislation.

Governor DeSantis signed the bill into law on March 28 arguing that it merely affirms the right of parents to decide whether and how their children learn about sexual orientation and gender identity.

He hammered back during a public appearance Tuesday, attacking New York’s leadership.

“We have better roads, better services, higher-performing K-12 and the number-one ranked university system in the country and we do all that with no state income tax and the lowest per-capita tax burden in the united states,” DeSantis said.

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NYC Mayor Adams said the whole bill was less about protecting parents and more about DeSantis’ re-election this year.

“This political showmanship of attempting to demonize a particular group or community is unacceptable,” Adams said.

Some Democrats have criticized Adams for doing the same thing with these billboards.

The billboard campaigns are scheduled to display through next month.

New York state has seen more migration to Florida than from Florida in recent years. In the last three years of the 2010s, more than 60,000 New Yorkers moved to Florida each year on average. By contrast, during the same period, fewer than 24,000 Floridians on average annually moved to New York state, according to US Census Bureau figures.

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