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Fort Lauderdale is Focused on Travel for All

Here at Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine, we’ve long been fans of the phrase “cruising is for everyone.” Travel, in general, is something that should be open and accessible to all who are curious enough to step foot in a new place.

One tourism board is reaffirming their commitment to travel for all in spite of a new law in the state of Florida that is set on labeling members of the LGBTQ+ community as different from everyone else.

Visit Lauderdale, the tourism board for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is making it known that they’re committed to their slogan of welcoming  “Everyone Under the Sun,” … and that means everyone. Greater Fort Lauderdale, and South Florida in general, continues to be a progressive destination recognized throughout the tourism industry for its thought leadership and inclusive nature despite a new law that will cause tangible harm to the LGBTQ+ community. 

“Travel transcends politics and decisions made at the state level do not always align with our mission, values, and community. Visitors to Greater Fort Lauderdale can be assured they are in a place where diversity, inclusion and acceptance is actively championed as an established way of life that is fully ingrained throughout our community. We encourage you to stand with us in support of the more than 88,000 tourism industry employees who work in our hotels, restaurants, venues, and attractions by booking your trip now. The Visit Lauderdale slogan, “Everyone Under the Sun,” reflects the open and welcoming nature of our community and when we say “Everyone Under the Sun” we mean it,” said Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale. 

FLORIDA’S PARENTAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION BILL

House Bill 1557, known colloquially around the country as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, prohibits “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in Florida’s primary schools.

The goal, according to Governor Ron DeSantis, is to “make sure that parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum.” 

Despite the fear of “stuff,” sexual education has already been banned in the state until fifth grade, so it seems allowing kindergarteners to know that members of the LGBTQ+ community exist in the first place is the “stuff” we’re really talking about.

It would then appear the law is operating under the notion that seeing or hearing from someone who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community could override the very obvious fact that sexual orientation is not a choice. This is antiquated thinking at best; dangerous, ignorant and hateful at worst. 

Visit Lauderdale’s commitment to inclusive travel not just now, but for the past 25 years, should be a blueprint for tourism boards and those in the hospitality space moving forward. If you’d like to help Visit Lauderdale spread the word, use the hashtags #WeAreVL and #EveryoneUnderTheSun on social media!

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Evan Gove is the SEO & Content Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel's digital department. He covers cruise industry news and writes ship reviews for porthole.com. You can also catch him as a guest on the YouTube series Cruise Control with Bill Panoff. Follow his tweets and posts about the cruise industry from Porthole Cruise and Travel's social media accounts.