Federal Judge Asked to Block Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law

in Walt Disney World

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Credit: Disney

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is facing more pushback against the Parental Rights in Education Act, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Lawyers representing a group of parents, students, and a non-profit organization have filed a motion to halt Florida school districts from implementing the legislation passed in March.

Related: DeSantis Boasts “Never” Backing Down In New Ad, But May Exit Disney Reedy Creek Battle

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Credit: State of Florida Office of the Governor

The motion contends that the Republican-backed law “was enacted with the purpose to discriminate and has the effect of discriminating against LGBTQ+ students and those with LGBTQ+ family members.”

According to The Orlando Sentinelthe preliminary injunction was filed as part of a July lawsuit against the school boards in Orange, Indian River, Duval, and Palm Beach counties. It alleges violations of speech, equal protection, and due process rights. The motion reads:

“HB 1557, by design, deters speech by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people in schools. To achieve this end, the law employs undefined terms that restrict an absurdly broad scope of speech and activity, casting a broad chilling effect and leaving school officials to draw arbitrary and discriminatory lines in their attempts to implement the law.”

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Credit: Disney Parks Blog

The Parental Rights in Education Act “prohibits any instruction about sexuality or gender between kindergarten and third grade, or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards,” according to NPR.

Related: Disney Local Says Gov. DeSantis’s “Misguided Actions” Are “An Abuse of Power”

The Walt Disney Company has found itself at the heart of controversy around the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In February, fans and Disney Cast Members led protests around the country after public records revealed that Disney had donated to many politicians who sponsored the bill.

Related: “Let Kids Be Kids,” #BoycottDisney Explodes Over “Don’t Say Gay” Falling Out

Disney released a statement on March 3 but didn’t directly mention the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Fans again asked Chapek to condemn the anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, and Pixar staff wrote The Walt Disney Company a letter asking the company to take a stronger stance against the bill. Chapek then called DeSantis to tell him that Disney did not support the bill. Disney also promised to pause political donations in Florida after donating $4.8 million to Florida campaign funds in 2020.

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Credit: Disney

DeSantis said he warned Disney not to get involved in the Florida controversy, later introducing legislation to dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. The bill later passed, meaning Walt Disney World Resort will not be in control of its municipal services as of next year. A lawsuit against DeSantis for his actions against Reedy Creek is ongoing.

Other conservative Republican politicians like Senator Josh Hawley, Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator Marco Rubio publicly attacked Disney for its stance on the law and refusal to censor a gay kiss in Pixar’s Lightyear (2022). President Joe Biden joked that right-wing politicians wanted to “storm Cinderella Castle.”

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Credit: Disney

Inside the Magic will report any updates on the ongoing lawsuits against Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida. 

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