DON'T SAY GAY
I guess we can’t be too harsh on Florida, at least a first glance. After all, it has the
Everglades, great beaches and space rocket launch-sites, to name but a few. It is sad
then that all those Floridian positives are over-shadowed by a majority of it being Trump
Nation and having potential GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis as its governor. As
a protégé of Trump, DeSantis is proving to be a chip off the old bigoted block. And
nothing more so shows that than his recent signing into Floridian law of the highly
controversial “Don’t Say Gay” measure that prevents schools teaching things like
gender identity or sexual preference until after third grade.
To its credit, Florida’s Walt Disney Company, the largest private employer in the state,
has been a prominent voice in opposing this blatantly prejudiced measure. Disney CEO
Bob Chapek has let it be known that the company is concerned about the discriminatory
nature of the measure, and that Disney is committed to seeing the legislation either
overturned or thrown out by the courts. Further, Disney will be making a $5 million
donation to various human rights organizations, including those which strive to defend
the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
Needless to say, DeSantis and his army of bigots have decried Disney for making this
praiseworthy stand. DeSantis has even gone as far as suggesting that the special self-
governing status previously given to Disney in 1967 by way of state legislation should
be repealed. However, Disney are sticking to their guns and continuing to highlight how
the “Don’t Say Gay” measure could be weaponized to discriminate against some kids
and their families.
DeSantis and the GOP’s obsession with sex, sexuality and supposed “woke” politics
continues to grow by the day. For a party that continually claims to stand for “freedom”
and “personal choice”, they sure seem awful picky about what goes on behind bedroom
doors and how people, of any age, choice to identify as a human being. Having a gun?
A God given right! Being attracted to someone of the same sex? Never – completely
Today’s GOP has simultaneously lost its mind, embraced bat-shit crazy conspiracy
theories, and re-branded itself an authoritarian cult with empty-eyed crushes on the
likes of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. If it isn’t Texas as good as criminalizing
abortion, it’s the Sunshine State promoting both homophobia and transphobia. And
don’t for a minute think it will stop there. The rabid right have the wind in their sails at
state level right now, and if they can implement more draconian legislation across the
country, they absolutely will do so.
If Trump doesn’t run in 2024 (which would be difficult to do if he is potentially behind
bars), then there is a good chance that DeSantis will not only run, but go on to become
president. In that scenario, even though Trump remains out of the picture, the “Don’t
Say Gay” legislation gives us an alarming glimpse of what post-Trump Republican
strongman politics will look like. And if it isn’t DeSantis, there are plenty of other
GOPers who would chomp at the bit to lay out another Trump-like blueprint for an
authoritarian America. That is the magnitude of the fight that continues to come before
As its number one money-spinner, Florida relies heavily on tourism for income. As
progressives, we need then to hit DeSantis and his fellow bigots financially, and
boycotting Florida for vacations and other tourist related activities would be a great start
to that. That perfectly underscores that this is not just a Florida issue or a fleeting,
faddy social progressive issue, but a national battle that will take as long as it takes until
we emerge victorious and have this hate-filled measure eradicated. The Walt Disney
Company is, at the end of the day, a corporate entity that is worth billions of dollars.