A caller reported an offensive sign in Orlando that read “Kill All Gays” shortly after 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. The traffic sign was located near the intersection of Lake Nona Boulevard and Nemours Parkway, just outside the Nemours Children’s Hospital and a short distance from one of the main exits from the city’s bustling Orlando International Airport. Local politicians responded quickly to the incident, decrying the hateful message and assuring the public the city of Orlando is a welcome and affirming place for the local LGBTQ+ community.
Police in Orlando said they have opened an investigation. After this incident, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer went to Twitter assuring the community that hate has no place in Orlando and the LGBTQ+ community will be valued and respected in the city.
The incident comes against the backdrop of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his advocacy of anti-LGBTQ+ laws, including the notorious “don’t say gay” law. Hours after the traffic sign incident, the Republican governor signed four anti-LGBTQ+ new laws that expand the state’s “don’t say gay” laws, ban gender-affirming care, restrict bathroom usage for trans people, and restrict drag shows.