DeSantis addresses repealing law that allows Disney to self-govern

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses the possibility of releasing a 55-year-old state law that allows Disney to effectively govern itself on the grounds of Walt Disney World.

According to a report by Fox News the governor’s decision has been sparked by Disney’s pushback against the recent parental rights bill that was recently signed into law.

DeSantis said on Thursday that the company’s opposition to the parental rights law is something that is a matter of principle at a press conference in West Palm Beach.

“What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power,” DeSantis said Thursday.

Disney’s response

Disney has stood up firmly against the bill which prohibits classroom instruction on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” with children in third grade or younger “or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

The Florida governor said that Disney has “lost a lot of the pull that they used to have” over the company’s reaction to the parental rights law and said he thinks that’s a “good thing for our state because the state should be governed by the best interest of the people.”

“I would say any special privileges that are in law I would like to get rid of generally,” DeSantis added. 

certainly not appropriate now”

“I think in this particular case with Disney, I just don’t think you have very many people in the legislature anymore who are going to be able to defend a lot of what has been done over many years to really have them almost govern themselves in some of these things. That was probably never appropriate to start, but is certainly not appropriate now at this point.”

Florida State Rep. Spencer Roach tweeted that he has met with legislators to discuss repealing the self-governing law following DeSantis’ comments in response to Disney’s recent actions.

“Yesterday was the 2nd meeting in a week w/fellow legislators to discuss a repeal of the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which allows Disney to act as its own government,” Roach tweeted. “If Disney wants to embrace woke ideology, it seems fitting that they should be regulated by Orange County.”

Backlash

DeSantis signed the bill this week, which prompted Disney to release a statement: “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,” Disney said.

“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.”

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