Ron DeSantis has passed a new law that has taken control of Disney World’s semi-autonomous district in Florida. Earlier, there was a dispute between the Republican governor and Disney over the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
The Disney World amusement park in Florida, USA, has lost its self-governing status after criticism of a controversial law against teaching young children about sexual orientation and gender identity. Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Monday that puts management of the park’s 42-square-mile area under state oversight.
“Today, the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” said the arch-conservative politician, a potential presidential candidate and internal party rival of ex-President Donald Trump. “A new sheriff is in town and accountability will be the order of the day.”
This was preceded by a heated argument between DeSantis and entertainment giant Disney. Almost a year ago, the governor signed a law banning teaching in kindergartens and in the first three years of elementary school about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Disney World boss condemns Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law
The law is part of the efforts of the US Republicans to enforce their conservative line on socio-political issues, including in schools. Critics have condemned the law as a blow to the LGBTQ community, dubbing it the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Disney boss Bob Chapek also condemned the law and stopped all his company’s political donations in Florida. Disney employees, especially gay, lesbian and transgender people, had previously criticized the fact that their employer had not publicly opposed the reform.
DeSantis said Monday at the signing of Disney World’s self-government law that the company opposed something that served to “protect small children.” “We want our children to be children. We want them to be able to enjoy entertainment and school without having an agenda imposed on them.”
DeSantis is considered Donald Trump’s biggest competitor
DeSantis, who was re-elected governor in a landslide victory last November, is considered ex-President Trump’s biggest competitor in the race for the Republican presidential candidacy in 2024. The 44-year-old has not yet announced his candidacy for the presidency. But he worked on his national profile with a series of political meetings and is launching his book The Courage to Be Free on Tuesday.
The law he signed on Monday abolishes Disney World’s right of self-government in the so-called Reedy Creek Improvement District. This district was created by Florida’s state legislature in 1967 to facilitate construction of the world-famous Orlando amusement park. The Florida House of Representatives and Senate passed the law about two and a half weeks ago.
Disney governs the district, collects taxes and is responsible for the basic needs of the citizens, such as garbage collection and wastewater treatment. As part of the new law passed by the Florida House of Representatives and Senate about two and a half weeks ago, a five-person oversight body will be created. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by Florida’s Senate.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.