Florida Democrats Boycott Disney Due to Parental Rights Bill

Mickey and Minnie Mouse riding on a float in Magic Kingdom

First, it was Governor DeSantis blasting Disney, now Florida Democrats have decided to take a shot at the mega-corporation that employs over 60,000 Floridians.

The Florida Democratic Party said Tuesday that it is moving its major fundraising event from a Disney World venue due to pressure from the LGBTQ community. The event was initially scheduled to take place on June 18.

The move comes after the Florida Democratic Party’s LGBTQ caucus called on candidates to oppose the party’s gala at Disney amid the fallout from the Parental Rights in Education bill.

“Scheduling Leadership Blue at Disney during Pride Month this year is nothing but tone deaf. To put it another way: FDP — read the room,” Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill said prior to the decision to move the event. 

In addition, Disney has been faced with employee-staged walkouts and social media campaigns in response to the Florida legislation.

Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, was quick to respond.

Fried tweeted, “I will always advocate for our LGBTQ+ community. I urge the Democratic Party of Florida to reconsider its decision to host June’s Leadership Blue Gala at Disney.”

Fried added, “Disney’s response to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill was tepid, short-sighted, and disappointing at best. If the Democratic Party keeps the Leadership Blue Gala at Disney, and Disney leadership does not do more to stand against hate, I will not attend.”

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist followed up with a measured response when he tweeted, “While they made mistakes early, Disney is trying to do the right thing — in the face of Governor DeSantis’ attacks on our LGBTQ+ community. But given the timing and conversation going on right now at Disney, it’s prudent the party consider other options.”

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz released a statement late Tuesday explaining his decision to move the event.

“Our timing was not ideal. We also acknowledge that in our fight for freedom and fairness, we can always do more,” Diaz said. “In that spirit, the Florida Democratic Party will choose new dates and venues to hold Leadership Blue. We will share information about new arrangements once we have explored available options.”

The controversy comes less than a year after Disney announced plans to move 2,000 employees from California to a new campus near Orlando, Florida, in an effort to increase collaboration amongst staff and consolidate operations.

Disney cited Florida’s business-friendly climate as a reason for the move.

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Steve Stewart is a senior contributor at The Florida Capital Star.




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One Thought to “Florida Democrats Boycott Disney Due to Parental Rights Bill”

  1. william delzell

    Good for the Florida Democrats!