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Florida Traffic Sign Hacked to Display 'Kill All Gays'

Florida Traffic Sign Hacked to Display 'Kill All Gays'

Orlando Traffic Sign Hacked with Message of Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate

The incident occurred on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia.

Police in Orlando said they have opened an investigation after a digital traffic sign was hacked to read “KILL ALL GAYS” earlier this week.

A caller reported the offensive sign 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.

“Hate has no place in Orlando and this disgusting display is not who we are as a community,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer posted to Twitter.

“The rhetoric is already bad, the policies dangerous — and all of it has and will translate into violence,” Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani posted to Twitter.

“Nothing happens in a vacuum,” Eskamani explained further for the Washington Post. “The fact that someone or some group would go as far as to hack a construction sign to send a message to ‘kill all gays’ — these are individuals who are affirmed and empowered by the policies around them, and by the elected officials around them who echo that same sentiment, whether they say it as bluntly or not.”

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.

DeSantis has also engaged in a running battle with Disney and its local Orlando area resorts and theme parks over its support of the LGBTQ+ community and its affirming messaging both in its parks and its films and programming. He recently moved to rescind a special self-governance agreement between Disney and the state, and Disney responded by suing DeSantis for allegedly targeting the company.

Despite the rhetoric from DeSantis, Dyer made it clear the LGBTQ+ community is welcome in his city.

“To Orlando’s LGBTQ+ residents and visitors: you are respected and valued here,” Dyer tweeted. “And we won't be deterred in our efforts to ensure that our city is inclusive for all.”

Individuals with information regarding the incident are encouraged to call the Orlando Police Department at (321) 235-5300.

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