For NBA player Dwayne Wade says anti-LGBTQ legislation in Florida is a big reason he moved his family out of the state.
In an interview with Rachel Nichols on her “Headliners” show, Wade, a former star of the Miami Heat, was asked about the passage of a raft of anti-LGBTQ legislation by Florida’s Republican legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Nichols: “What do you have to say to some of those state legislators who maybe have your jersey in their closet and came and brought their kids to your games to cheer for you?”
Wade: “That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state. A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions. Obviously the [lack of state income] taxes is great ... but my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there.”
Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have a 15-year-old transgender daughter, Zaya. Wade has spoken with pride and joy about Zaya after she came out.
“Republican lawmakers [this year] have filed at least 18 bills that directly or indirectly target transgender Floridians and in some cases the broader LGBTQ community, according to counts maintained by advocates,” the Tallahassee Democrat reports, making it one of the worst states in the nation for anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Earlier this month, Equality Florida, the state’s biggest largest LGBTQ group, “took the extraordinary step of issuing a travel advisory, warning of the risks posed to the health, safety, and freedom of those considering short or long term travel, or relocation to the state. ...
“As an organization that has spent decades working to improve Florida’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live work and visit, it is with great sadness that we must respond to those asking if it is safe to travel to Florida or remain in the state as the laws strip away basic rights and freedoms,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director. “While losing conferences, and top students who have written off Florida threatens lasting damage to our state, it is most heartbreaking to hear from parents who are selling their homes and moving because school censorship, book bans and healthcare restrictions have made their home state less safe for their children. We understand everyone must weigh the risks and decide what is best for their safety, but whether you stay away, leave or remain we ask that you join us in countering these relentless attacks. Help reimagine and build a Florida that is truly safe for and open to all, and where freedom is a reality, not a hollow campaign slogan.”
In 2021, Wade sold his Miami Beach home after buying one in Hidden Hills, a ritzy enclave in suburban Southern California, the L.A. Times reported.
It’s good that Wade spoke up and maybe he will convinced others with celebrity and money to also leave Florida to protest the crackdown on rights that make Florida unsafe for sexual minorities.