Disney is taking a firm stance, issuing a public statement in which the company vows to make efforts to repeal Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law today, after much controversy and opposition efforts to kill it. Bill HB 1557 "Parental Rights in Education" essentially works to prohibit schools from teaching or discussing subjects like sex without parental awareness and/or permission – any subject that parents may feel is their responsibility to handle. Opponents of the bill argue is structured in a way that leaves schools vulnerable to legal backlash for specious reasons.
In more serious accusations, the bill is said to be a weapon for keeping newer ideas about gender identity and sexuality from being incorporated into the curriculum of primary schools in the state. LGBTQ+ rights and concepts of gender identity are hot-button issues of debate in the current culture – especially within youth culture. Not surprisingly, there's been a wave of opposition to those same ideas.
Like with recent societal issues of race, the gender identity and sexuality debate has drawn big corporations into the crossfire. With Disney being such a major business in Florida (site of Walt Disney World), the company has been under scrutiny about where it stands in regards to the bill. A Disney investors call in early March became a hotbed of socio-political discourse, with Disney CEO Bob Chapek getting criticized for taking a soft stance of condemning discrimination and donating to human rights causes, without using Disney's political influence against the bill.
Well, clearly something finally changed over at Disney, as the company is now issuing a firm statement about how it plans to move against Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill:
"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 statement reads. "Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.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 subsidiary Marvel Studios also issued a statement against HB 1557:
"We strongly denounce any and all legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community," the statement reads. "Marvel Studios stands for hope, inclusivity and strength; and we proudly stand with the community. Today, we pledge to continue our strong commitment as allies who promote the values of equality, acceptance, and respect."