The sleepy Central Florida town of Mount Dora recently made itself a safe space for the LGBTQ community.

GOP Lawmakers Question One Florida City For “Virtue Signaling” With Safe Space Program

The sleepy Central Florida town of Mount Dora recently made itself a safe space for the LGBTQ community.
Mt. Dora (Visit Florida)

The sleepy Central Florida town of Mount Dora recently made itself a safe space for the LGBTQ community.

But city officials were met with criticism by local Republican lawmakers who questioned whether the city’s virtue signaling would add to the list of entities suffering after embracing left-wing activism.

According to a letter sent to the city by Lake County’s state legislative delegation — GOP Sen. Dennis Baxley and Republican Reps. Stan McClain, Keith Truenow, and Taylor Yarkosky — Mount Dora leaders voted to join the “Safe Place” program.

The national effort encourages vigilance against harassment and hate crimes against the LGBTQ community. Local police help by offering businesses and other supporters of the initiative a rainbow-colored shield that proclaims the property is a “safe place.”

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According to city records, the Mount Dora plan was intended to “provide the LGBTQ+ community and other victims with easily accessible safety information and safe places throughout the City of Mount Dora to turn, in the event they are victims of or feel threatened by crimes.”

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the City Council passed the initiative unanimously.

In response, in a letter posted Monday on the social media platform X, the GOP lawmakers representing Lake County demanded specific proof such a thing was happening. They also doubted whether that existed. The letter noted that their research showed Mount Dora had not experienced a crime of “bigotry, prejudice, or outright hate” in at least 12 years.

“We believe that you are putting the City of Mount Dora in the crosshairs of potentially detrimental, and absolutely unnecessary, economic harm,” the lawmakers wrote. “In light of what we have seen around this country in regards to the pushback and unprecedented financial harm to long-standing American-made companies such as Anheuser-Busch and Target Corporation, this local ‘Safe Place’ program is negligent, irresponsible, and divisive at best.” 

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“You are picking winners and losers in your city with this program and alienating otherwise friendly businesses and residents from one another on the basis of their participation, or lack thereof, in this virtue signaling program.”

They further maintained that the program would actually make Mount Dora less safe.

“Please be assured that we are considering all legislative, legal, and executive options available to us to quickly and permanently address this matter to ensure it never causes any financial harm to any business in this county,” the GOP legislators added.

“We simply won’t stand for any policy that leads to divisive and unsafe conditions for the residents of our great county. This absolutely goes against all the Constitutional, Biblical, Law and Order principles that this country was founded on and still continue to make this country great today, where deployed.”

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