Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged the state's senate to repeal a 1967 law that gave the Walt Disney Company its private government, following opposition to the Parental Rights In Education Law, which is also known as H.B. 1557.
CBN News reported that Governor DeSantis stressed on Wednesday the need to make Disney accountable for exerting its influence against the Parental Rights In Education Law, which protects children by prohibiting classroom instruction on gender sexuality and orientation from Kindergarten to Grade Three.
"Disney and other woke corporations won't get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer. If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now," DeSantis said.
DeSantis made an earlier announcement on Twitter regarding the termination of "legacy special districts" during the special session this week. The announcement came in line with the signing of a bill that reforms Florida's Higher Education. The governor stressed during the signing that in Florida, children are educated and not indoctrinated. He said Math is "about getting the right answer, not about feelings or ideologies."
The private government, Reedy Creek Improvement District, independently governs Disney's 27,000-acre property in Florida. The district was established 55 years ago through the state's legislature. The district provides various government services like infrastructure, fire protection, utilities, and zoning. It was given by the senate then to the company in response to the latter's request to autonomously build a futuristic city together with its Orlando theme park. The city, however, did not become a reality. Only the EPCOT theme park.
The Florida House of Representatives responded to DeSantis' call and voted to overturn the law on Thursday. This comes a day after the Florida Senate eliminated a special tax district on Disney's properties through a bill passed with a 23-16 vote.
The bill declares that any special district established before the 1968 Florida Constitution and not renewed since then will automatically be dissolved on June 1, 2023. Once implemented, the bill will not only dissolve Reedy Creek but five other districts in the state. Reedy Creek, however, is the only district linked to a distinguished company.
Florida's legislative actions occurred a month after Walt Disney's great-granddaughter, Charlee Disney, admitted being transgender and spoke against the Parental Rights In Education Law during the Human Rights Campaign gala. Charlee's parents, Roy P. Disney and Sheir, similarly opposed the law on the same occasion.
The said public denouncements of Walt Disney's heirs are the most recent in a string of actions made by the entertainment giant to meddle in political affairs out of its strong support for the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBTQ+ community and other leftist advocates were reportedly offended by the law, which they have maligned as the "Don't Say Gay" bill even before DeSantis signed it.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has pledged a crusade against the law after it was signed on March 28. Prior to that, he said the company will be intensifying its support for the LGBTQ+ community through its programs and offerings. Chapek made public announcements and even joined a national advertisement against HB 1577.
"Florida's HB 1557, also known as the 'Don't Say Gay' bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that," Disney said in a statement.