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Federal judge dismisses Disney's suit against Ron DeSantis

By: Adam Beam 1/31/2024

A federal judge in Tallahassee has dismissed Disney's lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis, marking a development in the company's ongoing battle with the state over control of the park's governing district.

The billion-dollar corporation alleges that the Republican governor has infringed on their First Amendment rights. The dispute between the media giant and the state's GOP-controlled legislature began when the company publicly opposed DeSantis' "Don't Say Gay Bill" in 2022.

The law prohibited any lessons, discussions, or teachings related to gender, sexual orientation, and identity in Florida classrooms. In response, DeSantis dissolved the former governing board and established The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District with his own appointees.

In a press release from Governor DeSantis' office, it stated, "As stated by Governor DeSantis when he signed HB 9-B, the Corporate Kingdom is over. The days of Disney controlling its own government and being placed above the law are long gone. The federal court’s decision made it clear that Governor DeSantis was correct: Disney is still just one of many corporations in the state, and they do not have a right to their own special government."

Disney is expected to appeal the decision and has multiple counterclaims against DeSantis.

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