Amid Disney’s opposition to a new Florida parental-rights law, the state’s Senate on Wednesday passed a bill promoted by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis that would eliminate the special taxing district that enables the entertainment giant to self-govern its theme-park area.
The 23-16 vote in the Republican-majority chamber sends the bill to the state House.
Disney’s special district was established by state law in 1967, enabling the company to collect taxes and provide emergency services in a 25,000-acre area near Orlando. Within the zone, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney can build new structures and pay impact fees without the need to obtain approval from a local planning commission.
All of that would end June 1 if the bill passes.
The effort to eliminate Disney’s district, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, comes after Disney declared it planned to use its influence to block or repeal a new law that bars classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through the third grade.
Also on Wednesday, the state Senate voted 24-15 to remove Disney’s exemption in a 2021 law on Big Tech censorship.
Last month, in a virtual meeting of Disney executives in response to the parental rights bill, an executive producer disclosed that her team has implemented her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda.”
Latoya Raveneau, as seen in a leaked video, told her colleagues in a virtual meeting that she and her team are regularly “adding queerness” to children’s programming. In another leaked video, Disney corporate president Kathy Burke told employees that “as the mother [of] one transgender child and one pansexual child,” she supports having “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories.” She said she wants a minimum of 50% of characters to be LGBTQIA and racial minorities.
Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, mischaracterized by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, bans “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten through third grade. It also bars teaching “in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” Critics say that could be interpreted to extend through all grades.
DeSantis reacted to a statement by Disney saying the company’s goal “is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”
“For Disney to come out and 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 but two I think that crossed the line,” DeSantis said.
“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. They do not run this state. They do not control this state.”
A member of Disney’s “Imagineering” team of creative talent wrote a column under a a pseudonym citing internal communications that demonstrate the company has been “rotting from the inside for quite some time.”
Entrepreneur and political commentator Vivek Ramaswamy said this week Disney’s embrace of radical transgender activism largely is influenced not by disgruntled and activist employees but by the entertainment giant’s biggest investors.
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