As a quick recap: Florida proposed HB 1557, aka the Don’t Say Gay Bill. The bill prohibits discussion of LGBTQ topics in school. Originally the bill required school staff to report kids to parents if they came out, claiming it was for the child’s well-being. That wording has been removed but you know it’s still encouraged. Disney has huge investments in Florida through their theme parks, hotels and studios. This explained their CEO Bob Chapek’s tepid response to the bill. So Disney contributions to anti-LGBTQ campaigns and unfriendly LGBTQ practices were put on blast and their employees walked out while their stars admonished the company on their own red carpets. Yesterday the bill was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Fortunately, Disney has finally promised they’re going to work to overturn this hateful legislation. Below is a portion of Disney’s 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,” 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 “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”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,” Disney said in its statement Monday.
The time to speak up about this bill was before it ever saw the light of day. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and now we’ll face a hard and dangerous uphill battle to repeal it. However, it is vital that this bill does get repealed. So even though I‘m not giving them any flowers, having a titan like Disney in our corner will be a huge boon in this battle. There’s a fighting chance of killing this thing in the courts with muscle and money. I also hope Disney and its subsidiaries’ LGBTQ community feel more supported by their employer. I hope this leads to a larger overhaul of Disney practices. The immediate threat of HB1557 needs to be faced but Disney should take this time to clean its own house.
And we need more companies to join this fight. I wish the cruise companies would step up. I know their ships are registered overseas for tax reasons, but their companies have American holdings. And they all rely on Florida ports. They absolutely rely on the LGBTQIA+ community for much of their business, where they hell are they in this? And why isn’t anyone asking them to get involved?