Equality Florida invites LGBTQ+ advocates to Capitol

Equality Florida Town Halls. (Screenshot via Equality Florida/Facebook)

TALLAHASSEE | Equality Florida has announced their 2024 Pride at the Capitol Kick-Off will be held Jan. 16-17 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to advocate for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized Floridians.

Equality Florida is the state’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. In an email to supporters Nov. 3, they advised “we’ve already seen the damage [Gov. Ron] DeSantis’ rubber-stamping Republican supermajority can inflict, passing bills that take away our freedoms, censor our voices, and infringe on our rights.”

DeSantis signed four explicitly anti-LGBTQ+ bills into law earlier this year, several of which face ongoing legal challenges. They included House Bill 1069, the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” expansion; Senate Bill 254, a gender-affirming care ban; House Bill 1521, prohibiting trans Floridians from using certain bathrooms that align with their gender identity and House Bill 1423, restricting youth participation at certain “adult live performances,” used to target drag.

Equality Florida is seeking LGBTQ+ and ally Floridians to show their support for the community by providing opportunities to testify at committee hearings, meet with lawmakers, take part in rallies and speak to the media. Attendees are also provided with insider briefing from state lawmakers before breaking into teams for small group meetings.

“We know DeSantis plans to expand his agenda of censorship and government control,” Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director Jon Harris Maurer shared. We need to be ready to show up and speak out for our rights and freedoms.

“Join hundreds of Floridians from across the state as we share our stories with lawmakers, work to defeat bills that harm our communities and make it clear to DeSantis that we’re not going anywhere,” he concluded.

RSVP for Pride at the Capitol here. Registration is $15 per attendee or $5 for students with ID, which helps cover a portion of the costs for training material and meals. Scholarships are available for those who are facing financial hardship.

Equality Florida also solicited for support Nov. 3 via social media.

“This Fall, hundreds of you showed up to our Resist Town Halls and shared your stories, letting our elected officials know that DeSantis’ agenda of censorship and government control will not stand, and that we will not stop until every child is protected and every family is respected,” they shared. “Our work isn’t done. We’re heading into the 60 most dangerous days in Florida: Legislative Session. Are you in?”

View their video below.

Pride at the Capitol 2024 will be held Jan. 16-17 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, located at 200 S. Duval St. in Tallahassee. For information about local hotels, the event and more, visit EQFL.org.

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