Disney Challenges DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” Rule With a Hefty Lawsuit

Disney is set to appeal its refusal for a lawsuit against Ron DeSantis, who stripped the company of its rights for disagreeing with the Governor’s views on the teaching of sexual orientation in classrooms.

Disney’s Swift Response

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Disney is challenging the dismissal of its First Amendment lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The Florida Faceoff

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The legal battle originated from Disney’s opposition to Florida’s parental rights bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

“Parental Rights in Education”

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The law is actually called the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, but critics have called it the “Don’t Say Gay” law due to it restricting the teaching of sexual orientation in early-age classrooms.

Uncomfortable DeSantis

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“I’m just not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state,” DeSantis said about the law.

Targeting Disney’s Progressiveness

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During DeSantis’ campaign to put the law into place, he targeted Disney for its progressive approach.

Governance Turmoil

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DeSantis disrupted Disney’s long-standing governance in the Orlando region, leading to the company’s legal action.

Judge’s Decision

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Judge Allen Winsor, appointed by Donald Trump, delivered a solid victory for DeSantis, stating Disney lacks standing and its claims fail on the merits.

DeSantis Hits Out

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DeSantis signed legislation to remove Disney’s special privileges as a form of punishment for speaking out against the “Parental Rights in Education” bill.

Questioning Disney’s Approach

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“You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California,” DeSantis argued, “and you’re going to marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state?”

Disney Promises to Respond

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Disney responded by promising a fight, “This is an important case with serious implications for the rule of law, and it will not end here,” a spokesperson said.

DeSantis Feeling “Provoked”

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“We view that as a provocation, and we’re going to fight back against that,” DeSantis warned to the much-loved animation studios.

Appeal Announcement

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, U.S., Inc. formally declared its decision to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Disney’s Special Privileges

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Disney has held many special privileges in the state of Florida since the 1960s, most notably in Orlando due to the world-renowned Disney World parks.

Reedy Creek Agreement

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Privileges include the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which allows Disney to build new structures without local permission, among other tax benefits. DeSantis has signed legislation to take away these rights.

Legal Move by Disney

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Disney’s legal team, led by outside counsel Daniel Petrocelli, said, “Notice is given,” and the company “hereby appeals to the United States Court of Appeals.”

Timeline Uncertainty

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The exact timing of the appeal filing remains unknown, but insiders suggest it might occur within the next week or so.

Disney’s Lawsuit

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Disney filed its lawsuit in April, sparking public exchanges between CEO Bob Iger and Governor DeSantis.

Iger’s Allegations

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CEO Iger accused DeSantis of being “un-American,” and accused him of “ongoing constitutional mutiny.”

Free Speech Rights

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Iger stressed the company’s right to free speech, asserting that expressing political viewpoints should not result in “retribution.”

Disney Up for the Challenge

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This will be a lengthy legal battle that Disney won’t give up on any time soon. As a spokesperson said, giving up “would set a dangerous precedent,” and allow states to punish companies for political views.

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