Florida’s major cities named and shamed as least LGBTQ+ friendly in US

During a Florida protest, a protestor holds up a sign reading "Support real education, not DeSantis indoctrination."

Florida’s biggest cities have been named and shamed as some of the least LGBTQ+ friendly in the US. 

Out of the 50 cities on the list, Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville were bottom of the barrel, being listed in 40th, 46th and 48th place respectively.  

The rankings were put together by Clever, a real estate service, which compared the 50 most-populous metro areas in the US across 14 metrics. These include municipal equality score, LGBTQ+ affirming health care providers per 100,000 residents, presence of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws and pride events per 100,000 residents. 

Since 2021, under Republican governor Ron DeSantis, the state of Florida has introduced a raft of anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have significantly altered queer public life, such as preventing trans folks from accessing gender affirming care, restricting where drag can be performed and allowing doctors to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people by citing ‘moral’ beliefs. 

Some of these laws have been struck down by the courts but others have passed and are being used to crack down on LGBTQ+ rights at every turn. 

LGBTQ rights supporters protest against Florida Governor Ron Desantis outside a "Don't Tread on Florida" tour campaign event.
LGBTQ rights supporters protest against Florida Governor Ron Desantis outside a “Don’t Tread on Florida” tour campaign event. (GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty)

The most prominent of these has been the Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed the state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which bans classroom discussions of topics related to gender and sexuality. 

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DeSantis claimed the legislation ensures “parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination” but since it was enacted the bill has been used to push right-wing policies and ban books and classic works of literature, high school and university courses and investigate teachers for even showing films which just feature a gay character.  

The laws have led to human rights groups to warn LGBTQ+ people against travelling to the state and LGBTQ+ who are already living there to flee en masse for safer states

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 The research by Clever also found the most LGBTQ+ friendly city was – unsurprisingly – San Francisco, with Hartford and Las Vegas in second and third position. 

The cities which scored the least were Memphis, in last place, Houston in 49th and as aforementioned Jacksonville in 48th position. 

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