Florida Democrats pull conference from Disney World in light of ‘parental rights’ bill pushback
Disney world is gearing up for Pride Month. Image via D23.

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'Our timing was not ideal. We also acknowledge that in our fight for freedom and fairness, we can always do more.'

The Florida Democratic Party late Tuesday announced it has postponed the annual Leadership Blue conference after numerous members threatened to boycott the weekend-long event.

The party received fierce pushback from its LGBTQ+ Caucus in light of The Walt Disney Company’s prior financial contributions to lawmakers who sponsored a controversial bill, HB 1557, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“We have heard the feedback regarding our Leadership Blue weekend, including conflicts with Pride Month, Juneteenth and Father’s Day events, all of which we intended to honor,” Party Chair Manny Diaz said in a news release. “Our timing was not ideal. We also acknowledge that in our fight for freedom and fairness, we can always do more. 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 annual conference was scheduled to be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort from June 17-19. 

“Scheduling Leadership Blue at Disney during Pride Month this year is nothing but tone deaf. To put it another way: FDP — read the room,” LGBTQ+ Caucus President Stephen Gaskill said in a news following the release of the party’s “save the date” for the event.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek told shareholders in early March that he stood against the bill, but didn’t come out publicly because he was lobbying behind the scenes to get the bill quashed. The strategy was not only unsuccessful, reports began to surface that Disney had made $300,000 worth of financial contributions to lawmakers who supported the bill, including $50,000 in donations to the Governor. Those donations, however, were mostly made well before the legislation was crafted.

“You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry,” Chapek told shareholders.

Chapek then announced Disney would suspend all political contributions. He also said the company would donate $5 million to LGBTQ+ organizations including the Human Rights Campaign.

Outrage over Disney’s donations filtered through the company with employees across the country walking out in protest Tuesday.

In response to the Leadership Blue announcement, Gaskill urged other Democrats to skip the event. 

They listened.

State Sen. Shevrin Jones, who is gay, said the party should reexamine the event and gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist suggested the event be moved. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is also running for Governor, also said she’d skip.

“Thank you to everyone who reached out to the Florida Democratic Party to support the LGBTQ+ community. We heard from elected officials, candidates, party members, Caucus presidents, and voters who all are committed to equality,” Gaskill said Tuesday night. “While it may seem like a family squabble that spilled into the street, this situation underscores that the many groups, organizations and individuals that make up the FDP can pull together when the cause is right. We appreciate FDP’s willingness to listen and change course, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership aimed at turning Florida blue in 2022.”

Daniel Figueroa IV

Bronx, NY —> St. Pete, Fla. Just your friendly, neighborhood journo junkie with a penchant for motorcycles and Star Wars. Daniel has spent the last decade covering Tampa Bay and Florida for the Ledger of Lakeland, Tampa Bay Times, and WMNF. You can reach Daniel Figueroa IV at [email protected]


32 comments

  • Tom

    March 22, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    Let’s see, are we upset that this was cancelled?
    No, who the hell cares. Good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out of town. You cancelled, you hurt working people you clowns.
    Moms, dads, families affected by hospitality. Crist and Fraud are a joke. Good going. Way to not help the economy.

    • Well not me

      March 23, 2022 at 7:40 am

      “You hurt working people you clowns”

      Oh they hurt republicans who hate gays

      Who cares lol

      • Tom

        March 24, 2022 at 7:16 am

        Hardly, Dems depress economy so this just is another example.

        Hurting working families is what you and the Dems do. Congrats moron, you not well moniker. Wah Wah,

  • Claude Kirkland

    March 23, 2022 at 5:15 am

    It’s always gratifying to watch the leftists when they begin to eat their own. Leftist on leftist canbilism in Florida a sure sign of circling the political toilet.

  • Impeach Biden

    March 23, 2022 at 6:17 am

    The Democratic Party is full of wackos. What percentage of the population is LGBTQ? Talk about the tail wagging the dog. So what I’m getting here is that the Dems want to start introducing gender identity and sexual orientation classes to Kindergarten through Third grade. Complete insanity.

    • Does it?

      March 23, 2022 at 8:48 am

      I didn’t vote for you to make that choice so it does not matter lol

      • Impeach Biden

        March 23, 2022 at 9:13 am

        Just read it was a big turnout yesterday. A whopping 100 people in Kalifornia and one, yes a single protester in Orlando. LMFAO.

        • What?

          March 23, 2022 at 9:31 am

          I don’t know what you are referring to

          And it still does not matter to me

          Just like you lol

          • Impeach Biden

            March 23, 2022 at 9:57 am

            Pick up a newspaper sometime. LOL

        • Not my problem

          March 23, 2022 at 10:13 am

          “Read a newspaper sometimes”

          Maybe explain what you are talking about instead of expecting others to know.

          Or don’t I don’t really care what an idiot who hates gays thinks lol

          • Impeach Biden

            March 23, 2022 at 12:45 pm

            It was in reference to the number of protesters yesterday at Disney. 100 in Kalifornia and one in Florida. Clear enough for you? So you say I hate gays because I support keeping gender identity and sexual orientation classes from Kindergarten through Third grade. I would say you are the idiot.LMFAO.

        • So what

          March 23, 2022 at 1:29 pm

          As I said I don’t really care.

          Because if you keep up pressure enough you get the desired result.

    • Sarasota Food Lover

      March 24, 2022 at 9:06 am

      What percentage of people have disabilities? It’s very small. Should we abandon the disabilities act as well? Don’t get me wrong. I wholeheartedly am against what were once male trans athletes competing in athletics against women, but do support protecting any class of people from harassment and providing them equal rights. Are you against that? It seems you are.

  • Dan lanske

    March 23, 2022 at 7:21 am

    Anyone who still brings their family to Disney is an idiot

  • Fly A Freak Flag Expect A Freak Response

    March 23, 2022 at 10:00 am

    That’s why they pushed back? The “Don’t Say Gay” bill?
    NOT THE PEDO ARRESTS?
    NOT THE TUNNELS?
    NOT THE CHILD TRAFFICKING THAT’S BEEN SANCTIONED THERE FOR DECADES?

    Disgusting commies

    • Well of course

      March 23, 2022 at 10:16 am

      Well yes.
      Because unlike the dumb things you talk about this is real.

      Now go teach your child how to draw a circle since you won’t send him to school lol

      • Are the RINO Ron Ogden?

        March 23, 2022 at 10:46 am

        Do I know you?

    • Sarasota Food Lover

      March 24, 2022 at 9:47 am

      ‘Qanon much? Martians have invaded and live among us as well I suppose. You are a freak and have zero self thought. I would love to come against you in business as I would walk away with all of your money. Your level of intellect is at par with my cat. That is actually disparaging my cat. I take it back. Our hamster.

  • That makes two

    March 23, 2022 at 10:46 am

    Republicans now have two reasons to be angry at Disney.
    The other being they have no money and can’t afford to go there. Oh well they never were creative minds.

    • Impeach Biden

      March 23, 2022 at 12:48 pm

      There it is, the typical liberal wacko talk down to the conservatives. Did you know that the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, is a conservative? You have no idea with your arrogant attitude.

      • Of course you would

        March 23, 2022 at 1:17 pm

        You think Elon musk is a conservative?
        Why? Because he keeps his plant open during one of the worst pandemics since the Middle Ages? He described himself as “half democrat and half Republican”

        But Yeah you would think that. That’s why I see trailers left and right with you people but your governor lives in a mansion lol

      • Point and luagh

        March 23, 2022 at 9:11 pm

        The only thing the free market gave Republicans was minimum wage

  • Stop Being Ignorant Mouth Breathers

    March 23, 2022 at 11:13 am

    When are The People going to realize we have a civic duty to be involved in our local communities and government?
    When are The People going to realize pointing fingers at each other is exactly what the establishment craves, desires, and utilizes to maintain the status quo?
    When are The People going to realize all the republicans are RINOs and all the democrats are working together with them?
    When are The People going to realize we have a UniParty hell bent on utilizing our taxpayer dollars to pillage and destroy?

    2022 Elections (elections which shouldn’t be happening since we have corrupt machines and software PEN & PAPER VOTING should be the status quo) will be about real people versus RINOs. No one is voting for democrats this year.

    Remember these words. They’ll only become more and more deafening as the days move ahead.

    • I’m right you are not

      March 23, 2022 at 1:35 pm

      “Corrupt machines”

      Disproven by every judge it went over.

  • CARL JACOBSON

    March 23, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    So, Disney Employees are ‘Protesting’ a Bill that simply prohibits teachers from talking about Gender and Sexuality to children aged 5 to 8 years old?!

    At that age, I wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle – I had no concept of Gender or Sexuality until I was entering Puberty at aged 11-12. That’s when I can see a valid reason for addressing Gender and Sexuality issues – BUT I still think that’s the Parent have the Priority in whether their kids are learning about this.

    Then there’s the ‘rationale’ that ‘Trans kids will Kill Themselves’ – I don’t think so. Kids are much more RESILIENT than we think.

    • Sarasota Food Lover

      March 24, 2022 at 9:53 am

      In this case I have to agree, but is this actually taking place already though? The bill was political band standing for DeSantis. He is nothing but a freak seeking other freaks’ approval.

  • Johnny Bans

    March 23, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    That’s a good start! I say they should keep pulling back as much as they can. Preferably until they are somewhere north of Georgia.

    • Ok then

      March 24, 2022 at 8:34 am

      Hey nothing else has grown in the south since the civil war

      What’s one more? Why not

  • Sarasota Food Lover

    March 24, 2022 at 9:51 am

    And that crazy fake moon launch. Amazing. We should push them all off the flat earth we live on and wait for our alien brothers to come from their underground bunkers at area 51 to save us. Get a grip man. You have lost your mind. Seek professional help. There’s still hope.

  • Scott Smith

    March 24, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    I have no problems with the alphabet people but don’t force all of us to believe what you do is normal. If it was, gays would be able to procreate.

  • Casey Joy

    March 29, 2022 at 8:11 am

    I hope Disney world pulls out a Florida. They should stay out of politics but seeing they want to put their fat nose in it we should all boycott Disney World.
    Biden is a perfect example of the sad Direction of the Democratic Party. When the DNC stands behind a man whose mind is failing is when I walked away from the Democratic Party.
    Now the DNC wants to destroy biological females sports in the name of being politically correct. Why is it more important to stand behind men Who claim to identify with women? Why should women be made to feel uncomfortable by men using the ladies room?
    And then a man is convicted of raping a girl and when he realizes he’s going to go to jail he conveniently identifies as a female it will now go to a female prison rather than a male prison. How convenient.
    We don’t need Disney World in Florida anymore. Go find another state to mess up.

  • Linda

    March 30, 2022 at 10:07 pm

    People the Disney Corporation has joined the ranks of evil big tech and other corporations who are leftwing militant anti American anti family anti religion. There’s an agenda that’s more sinister than you realize! It’s not just left and right. Better pray y’all.

Comments are closed.


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