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Florida’s first LGBTQ+ sanctuary city gets blasted on social

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Lake Worth Beach has officially become Florida’s first LGBTQ+ sanctuary city in defiance of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, declaring itself a safe space for the gay and transgender community.

(Video Credit: WPBF 25 News)

The city commission for the South Florida town voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of the decision, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.

City council members and advocates cited concerns from the community claiming that educators, parents, and students were very concerned about DeSantis’ recent legislation that impacts LGBTQ+ people. They view it as some sort of persecution rather than protecting children from sexually-fueled political ideology. The move was pushed by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

“The City of Lake Worth Beach shall now and forever be considered a safe place, a sanctuary, a welcoming and supportive city for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families to live in peace and comfort,” the resolution states.

WATCH HERE

Lake Worth Beach’s resolution cites data from the American Civil Liberties Union, which tracked more than 490 bills it claims target LGBTQ rights in the United States, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

“The local resolution also cites research from the Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that focuses on suicide prevention efforts for the LGBTQ community. The nonprofit conducted surveys in 2022 and found that 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported negative mental health impacts from anti-LGBTQ political debates and laws, while 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year,” the media outlet reported.

The Parental Rights in Education law limits the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in Florida schools from pre-K through eighth grade. It went into effect in June and leftists are still screaming over it.

“I think it’s time to take a stand that we affirmatively accept the people as they are,” Lake Worth Beach Mayor Betty Resch proclaimed.

She also vowed that she would work with the city council to come up with a plan of action that would support LGBTQ+ people.

“This is a crucial time for all of us to come together and stand in unity that the city is publicly making a statement, in black and white, and a resolution that it is a safe city for all of its residents,” Julie Seaver, Executive Director of Compass LGBTQ+ Community Center, told WPTV in an interview.

South Florida tends to be far more liberal than other parts of the Sunshine State. Lake Worth Beach hosts Palm Beach Pride and has numerous LGBTQ-owned businesses. But that’s not enough for advocates.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had incidents throughout Palm Beach County. We’ve had incidents here in Lake Worth Beach and to have safe spaces means a lot for people,” Rand Hoch, who is with the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, told WPTV in an interview. “If we can’t do anything about the people up in Tallahassee, at least we can do it here in our own backyard.”

He’s claiming that the “Don’t Say Gay” bill has affected LGBTQ+ residents and has damaged Florida’s reputation.

“We are losing a lot of tourism. We’re losing a lot of business,” Hoch went on to assert. “We want to let people know that you are welcome here if you’re gay, lesbian, or trans. And that’s an important statement to make these days because what people are hearing is the exact opposite.”

“With so many LGBTQ+ people and allies fleeing Florida for less hostile states, we are thrilled Lake Worth Beach Mayor (Betty) Resch and the city commissioners continue to work to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of LGBTQ+ people and our families,” he stated.

Advocates in Tallahassee, the state’s capital, are also lobbying for it to become an LGBTQ+ sanctuary city.

Users on X sounded off over the symbolic announcement:

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