A lot of people have been leaving New York City – with its high crime rate and restrictive COVID regulations – for sunny, restriction-free Florida. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 320,000 people fled NYC between July 2020 and July 2021 … and Florida trailed only Texas in population increase during that time.
In an attempt to lure some of his former residents back, Mayor Eric Adams has announced a digital billboard campaign targeting five of Florida's major cities with advertisements that read: "Come to the city where you can say whatever you want" – and "People say a lot of ridiculous things in New York. 'Don't Say Gay' isn't one of them."
The mayor's move is seen as a direct attack on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for signing the "Parental Rights in Education" law, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
Robert Knight, a columnist for the Washington Times, tells AFN that Adams' campaign shows how out of touch New York is with the rest of the country.
"Governor DeSantis is a hero to many – and he's seen as a probable presidential candidate for sticking up for families [and] sanity when it comes to all this sexual disorientation going on," says the conservative activist. "He's doing things other governors are not daring to do – and for that New York is hoping to lure people back to a crazy place where they mask a toddler in school and they push sexual disfunction."
Florida's Republican governor has been in the news a lot lately for refusing to cave to disgruntled Disney World employees and Disney CEO Bob Chapek who have been publicly critical of the pro-parental rights law. Knight says it took great courage for DeSantis to take on Disney.
"It's a major employer in Florida. It brings in billions of dollars to his state," Knight points out. "And yet he said [he's] not going to sacrifice families on Disney's altar. [He's telling Disney] when you go pushing sexual material on children and you're jamming the LGBTQ agenda down their throats, 'I'm not going to stay silent no matter what happens.'"
Mayor Adams' billboard campaign, according to the New York Post, will be displayed for eight weeks in five Florida cities: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.