Hundreds of LBGTQ+ advocates and supporters rallied Thursday in Orlando and Burbank, CA urging Disney to speak out publicly against Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
In a statement to the media, the state senator sponsoring the bill claimed Disney donated to his campaign for the hateful, homophobic legislation
ORLANDO (March 4, 2022) AHF, which led rallies of hundreds of LGBTQ+ advocates and supporters Thursday in Orlando and Burbank, CA to urge the Walt Disney Company to speak out publicly to oppose Florida’s divisive “Don’t Say Gay” bill (HB1557 and SB1834), is stepping up pressure on Disney today to respond publicly after Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley, the bill’s sponsor, suggested in a statement to WKMG News 6 that Disney supports his campaign for the legislation.
In a statement issued to WKGM reporter Brian Didlake, Baxley said “Disney has donated to my campaign and many others. They have a world of interests on a variety of topics that we address in the Florida Legislature.”
“Senator Baxley’s statement clearly implies that his ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation is among Disney’s ‘world of interests.’ Disney, is this true?,” asked AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Baxley’s putting out a dog whistle of hate and homophobia besmirching your good Disney name. You must respond and make your position clear.”
To date, Disney, which has thousands of LGBTQ+ employees and regularly participates with large contingents in Pride parades in both Orlando and Los Angeles, has been stone-faced and silent on the legislation.
Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell noted last week that “The (Disney) parks preach inclusion in their marketing campaigns. But Disney has given money to every single sponsor and co-sponsor of this year’s infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.”
On Wednesday, AHF rolled out a TV ad campaign in the greater Orlando area urging Disney to publicly speak out against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill AHF’s 30-second spot will run on stations WOFL (FOX), WKMG (CBS), WESH (NBC) and WFTV (ABC).