Disney Donates to Sponsors of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Despite Marketing for ‘Inclusion’


Cinderella Castle with 50th anniversary decorations

Disney Donates to Sponsors of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Despite Marketing for ‘Inclusion’

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney has donated money to every sponsor of the new “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

This bill, called the Parental Rights in Education bill, but most famously known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, was passed by the Florida’s House of Representatives on Thursday. It will prohibit “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in the state’s primary schools.

It is heading to the state’s Republican-held Senate, where it is expected to pass.

Disney, on the other hand, has always seemed to be pro-LGBTQ. Rainbow merchandise is sold every year during Gay Days and Disney even went as far as to make a fifth “key” called “Inclusion.” These keys are the foundation for Cast Members’ approach to service.

But despite this, Disney donated money to every sponsor and co-sponsor of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“The Senate sponsor, Ocala Republican Dennis Baxley, has backed anti-gay legislation for years — including laws to prevent gay couples from adopting kids who otherwise wouldn’t have a family at all. Baxley once compared kids who live with same-sex parents to kids raised by alcoholics and abusers and later said: “I’m not phobic, but I simply can’t affirm homosexuality.”

The very next year Disney cut Baxley a campaign check. And another after that. And yet another last year.

So the park puts out the rainbow Mickeys during Gay Days while also cutting checks to the politicians hellbent on dehumanizing those same park guests.

Disney isn’t alone. The Number-crunchers at the Popular Information news site tracked donations by Florida entities that cite equality as a core value and found many funneled big bucks to politicians who back this bill — including more than $100,000 from Florida Realtors and Publix; $75,000 from Anheuser-Busch, $34,000 from Duke Energy and $28,000 from Comcast.

Orlando Democrat State Rep. Anna Eskamani said the companies’ priorities are clear: “The business lobby seems more focused on securing tax breaks … than living up to their so-called corporate values of inclusivity.”

Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, still hopes some of Florida’s business leaders will step up and speak out before the bill before heads to the Senate next week, saying companies that preach inclusion “have an opportunity to walk the talk.”

The bill itself, House Bill 1557, is a trainwreck. Not just based on anyone’s personal values, but based on pure linguistics and legal flaws. It uses nebulous and subjective phrases like “reasonably prudent person” to set standards and bans classroom discussions on “sexual orientation or gender identity” in “certain grade levels” without clearly defining what those levels are.”

Source: Orlando Sentinel


  • Jade Mackey

    Jade takes a lot of pride in being born the same year as The Lion King. When she's at Walt Disney World, you can probably find her sitting in the audience of every single showing of Festival of the Lion King (not kidding). You can contact Jade at jade.mackey@wdwnt.com. Hakuna matata.

22 thoughts on “Disney Donates to Sponsors of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Despite Marketing for ‘Inclusion’”

  1. They want the bill to be vague so then it can be interpreted more broadly. Not clear grade levels then more teachers can be violating the law. Disney is a business. They make what they feel will sell and make them money. If lgbtq friendly merch makes them money then thats what they make. I don’t think that it says that they are the least bit inclusive at the core.

  2. Thank you for calling attention to this. I know it’s difficult to hold this kind of integrity in your field of work. This is why you’re the only Disney theme park people I follow. Shameful that Disney would make half measures like changing phrasing and theming in their parks while congratulating themselves meanwhile making real financial support that benefits bigoted policies.

  3. This article is terrible, purely political, one sided, and defamatory. If I want partisan news I’ll visit Fox or CNN. Please do better.

  4. What!?! You mean to tell me a gigantic mega-corporation is paying lip service to social responsibility, but is actually evil? Who could’ve guessed!?!

  5. Whether you agree with homosexual lifestyles or not, sexual issues do not need to be discussed with elementary age grade school kids. Disney as a company can be inclusive of whatever lifestyles they choose, but can still decide that sexual discussions of any kind can be left up to the parents and not forced on elementary age grade school kids.

    It is a mistake to assume hate or homophobia in this instance. Straight or gay dont need to be introduced to them at school. It should be up to parents when social and sexual issues are explained and taught to their own children.

    • ok, you’re not allowed to talk to kids about straight couples either then. if you can’t talk about timmy having two dads in elementary school you can’t talk about molly having a mom and dad. do you see the issue here? the extremely messed up double standard? If you treat being lgbtq like some weird abnormality kids won’t understand you make them think it’s bad

  6. Disney and other large companies always give money to both sides. For instance, Disney also supports politicians that support killing babies a.k.a. abortion, even though Disney is a family friendly company often aimed at kids.

  7. Yea, you should probably cancel Disney then. While your at it, take their name off your webpage. So people not wanting teachers talking their kid into gender confusion is exclusive. Only people that agree with you are “inclusive”. Got it, thanks. Poorly written article with no perspective. Stick to writing about a Lion King and balloon animals.

  8. Meanwhile Disney has a new film coming out called Sneakerella in which the male character falls for his prince. Disney is not anti Gay. But they’re money speaks volumes in politics.

  9. I’m shocked that Disney would stoop to contributing to this “don’t say gay” bill..
    Always thought of this company as all encompassing .. but I guess they needed the tax break coming with this. Morals can be bought snd have a dollar value .
    So sad.

  10. I’m speechless, yet not surprised. Look who’s heading the corp – Darth Chapek. My heart breaks for the LGBTQ Cast Members. Know that we love you and appreciate you more than Disney ever will. Vote Chapek off the Disney Board by March 4th. Please let it be Eisner 2.0

  11. Disney has always been a conservative company that cosplays as “woke” when the market serves them. They will gladly feature POC and LGTBQ+ in their marketing and media while privately supporting legislation that is against those communities’ interests. They had a black Santa while simultaneously raising prices ensuring that a majority of black families wouldn’t even be able to get in the park to see him. They get congratulated publicly for being “progressive” while privately they are “keeping out an element”.

  12. They don’t care about LGBT+ people. They care about LGBT+ wallets. Of course they’re happy to be inclusive to all paying customers, as long as the money flows.

  13. Thank you for writing about this important matter. They cannot expect our support if they aren’t willing to stand up for us.

  14. Large companies, like Disney, most likely have something called a political action committee, in employees of the company donate to the committee and then decide where those donations go, like certain political campaigns or legislation. This is common in the banking and insurance industries. The key difference in a PAC is that it is employee DONATED funds, not direct revenue from the company itself. I wonder if this was the case in Disney donating to the particular FL senator and his bill. It is important to understand the context of the donation before labeling Disney has a right-wing gay-hating company.

Comments are closed.