to be deeply polarizing issues. A 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 38 percent of Americans believe society had gone too far in accepting transgender people, while 36 percent said it had not gone far enough."It is with great sadness that we must respond to those asking if it is safe to travel to Florida or remain in the state as the laws strip away basic rights and freedoms," Nadine Smith, Equality Florida's executive director, said.The group specifically named Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, accusing him of making "extremist policies the centerpiece of his presidential campaign strategy" and that he had "weaponized state agencies to silence critics and impose sanctions on large and small companies that dissent with his culture war agenda."Newsweek reached out to the governor's office via email for comment on Thursday.While DeSantis has yet to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race, he is widely seen as a close contender in the GOP field to Donald Trump.
As part of his governorship, he has pushed an anti-woke agenda that runs counter to several Democrat policies.Equality Florida cited reports saying studies had found that over half of LGBTQ+ parents in the state were considering leaving Florida, and that one in eight high school students would not attend college in Florida due to its education policies, as signs of the impact those policies were already having.It also referenced a recently-signed law allowing people to carry concealed guns in public without a permit as making Florida "less safe," noting research by gun control organization Everytown that suggested such laws led to a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime.