TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – The Florida Legislature gave final approval Thursday to legislation revoking entertainment giant Disney’s “independent special district” status granting it unique legal autonomy over the land containing its Walt Disney World theme park in the Sunshine State.
The Daily Wire reported that the Florida House voted 70-38 to eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special district established in 1967 that made Disney akin to a county government for the purposes of establishing and maintaining the park, exempting it from millions of dollars’ worth of taxes and fees.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis began calling for revocation of Disney’s special status shortly after the company attempted to pressure Florida officials not to enact the Parental Rights in Education law, which bans schools from teaching children in kindergarten through third grade about transgenderism and other sexuality-related issues, limits discussions of sexuality for older children to “age appropriate” content, and requires parents to be informed of any changes that could affect their child’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being.
Left-wing activists and their media allies misleadingly dubbed the law the “Don’t-Say-Gay Bill,” framing it as a hateful attack on LGBT teachers and students and scoffing at the notion that it tackles a real problem, despite examples of teachers engaging in LGBT activism in schools.
DeSantis and Florida Republicans defied Disney’s pressure, which drew national attention on the extent of Disney’s left-wing activism. Soon after, video leaked of a private “all hands meeting” in which various Disney officials openly stated their intentions to inculcate children with LGBT dogma via their film and television projects.
In addition to congressional reapportionment, this week's special session will include termination of legacy special districts and removal of exemptions from the big tech accountability law. pic.twitter.com/67sF4E113I
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 19, 2022
“If Disney wants to pick a fight, they chose the wrong guy,” DeSantis has said. “I will not allow a woke corporation based in California to run our state.”
“What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power,” the governor added. “I think what has happened is there’s a lot of these special privileges that are not justifiable, but because Disney had held so much sway, they were able to sustain a lot of special treatment over the years.”
While liberals and libertarians have attempted to frame the move as mere vindictiveness or political opportunism, conservatives argue it is necessary to affix a clear, serious penalty to Disney’s attempts to influence the culture and the political process, to discourage it from trying again and to send a message to other corporations.
A "special district" is just that — a "special" privilege conferred by a past legis.
When the CURRENT citizens of Florida act through their elected reps to withdraw that special privilege, that's representative democracy.
Disney is not entitled to keep its special status. https://t.co/NXACn5Cy9c
— Dr. Shipwreckedcrew.substack.com (@shipwreckedcrew) April 21, 2022
Don't lose sight of the fact of what Disney was opposing also. This wasn't some mundane tax break or regulation. Disney came out on the side of teaching extremely young children sexualized education pic.twitter.com/58Et58p9ta
— kc2fargo (@kc2fargo) April 21, 2022
Yes, quite literally there is. Big corporations, particularly Disney here, proved they will perpetuate smears against parents and protect child predation when degenerates are seal clapping without credible threats of significant costs.
Salt. The. Earth. https://t.co/ywnTiUODBr
— Zach (@badzachtakes) April 20, 2022
The bill now awaits an inevitable signature from DeSantis. It remains to be seen how Disney will react to the blow.