Now, the event that is one of the Florida Democratic Party’s bigger annual gatherings will be the weekend of July 15-17 at the JW Marriott in Tampa on Water Street.
The President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus said he would be pleased to attend the gala at its new venue. His group had been planning not to go to the original event and urged others to skip it as Disney had remained publicly silent when the state adopted a new “parental rights law,” which critics dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.
“We appreciated at the time that FDP (Florida Democratic Party) heard everyone’s concerns and moved Leadership Blue away from Disney,” said Stephen Gaskill, who called the original decision to have the event at Disney “tone deaf.”
“We’re excited to participate at the new location, and the new date and be on site.”
Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek came under fire from employees and theme park fans over his silence on the controversial Florida bill (HB 1557) that regulates what educators can teach about sexual orientation and gender identity. Disney employees walked off the job in protest.
Disney officials have since come out and said the law should not have passed and promised to work at getting it repealed. And that stance has resulted in Republican politicians returning their Disney donations and Gov. Ron DeSantis threatening to take away the media and entertainment behemoth’s special taxing privileges.
Gaskill said he was happy to see the reversal, but now is still not the right time to have a large-scale gathering at Disney.
“It was the wrong time to be going to Disney,” Gaskill said of the originally scheduled event. “The company is working on LGBTQ+ issues and we’re prepared to help them with that.”