Disney World Resort to host what has been billed as "the largest LGBTQ+ conference in the world," despite concerns over gay rights in the state following the introduction of new laws backed by Governor Ron DeSantis.In March 2022, DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education legislation, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay Bill" by opponents, banning any discussion of sexuality or gender identity in Florida's schools for children aged between five and nine.
This week, proposals emerged to extend this to all ages within the Florida schooling system.The next few months are likely to be decisive for DeSantis' political career, with polls showing the governor is the most credible threat to Donald Trump's hope of securing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, though he has yet to officially declare his candidacy.Despite Florida's new legislation, which initially triggered calls for a boycott of the state, LGBTQ groups have welcomed plans to hold the Out & Equal Workplace Summit from September 11-14.
This event is intended to promote LGBTQ rights in the workplace, with around 5,000 people expected to attend.Speaking to Newsweek, LGBTQ group Equality Florida said it welcomes the event, but understands the decision from other organizations within the community to avoid the Sunshine State because it "feels unsafe for their members" and attacked DeSantis for his "insatiable career ambitions.""Out & Equal has held this massive conference in Florida a number of times," a spokesperson for the group said. "Businesses from across the country, large and small, understand that inclusive work environments that see and celebrate LGBTQ employees and customers are not only good for business, but the right thing to cultivate.