DON'T SAY GAY

Disney


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be repealed.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

un-American!


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

us.

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.