After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill — dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics — into law on Monday, Disney responded by saying it would be working to get the law repealed.

What You Need To Know

  • Disney says it will work to get Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill repealed or overturned

  • The bill, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics, was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday

  • In a statement, Disney, which has recently come out against the legislation, says it never should have passed

  • DeSantis has responded by saying Disney "crossed the line"

​“Florida’s HB 1157, also known at the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have been passed and should never have been signed into law,” the company said in a statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.

“We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”

DeSantis, who has been publicly sparring with the company in recent days over the legislation, responded Tuesday by saying Disney “crossed the line” in calling for the law to be repealed.

“For Disney to come out an put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and that they are going to actively work to repeal it, I think one was fundamentally dishonest and but two, I think that crossed the line,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Tallahassee. “This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives.”

The legislation bans classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through 3rd grade, or “in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” Critics says the legislation would marginalize LGBTQ children and that the language used in the bill such as “age appropriate” is broad and subject to interpretation. 

Disney, which is the largest single-site employer in Florida with its Disney World resort, faced backlash for donating money to sponsors of the bill and for not taking a stand against the legislation from the onset.

Following the criticism, the company has since publicly opposed the legislation. On March 9, Disney CEO Bob Chapek denounced it during an annual shareholders meeting, saying that he had talked with DeSantis and planned to meet with him about the legislation. It's unclear when that meeting will take place.

In a company-wide letter sent a few days later, Chapek apologized to employees for not being a “stronger ally” and announced Disney would be pausing all political donations in Florida.

Disney is in the middle of moving thousands of employees in its Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division from Southern California to a new regional campus in the Lake Nona area of Orlando.

Disney first announced the plan in July, citing Florida’s business-friendly climate as one of the reasons behind the move.


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