GLSEN Condemns Disney's Silent Involvement on Florida's Don't Say Gay Bill

March 18, 2022

GLSEN Condemns Disney's Silent Involvement on Florida's "Don't Say Gay" Bill

Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she), GLSEN Executive Director:

"Silence and erasure can take many forms, but what is happening right now is that corporations practice silence while giving money to politicians who are working to erase the vulnerable population GLSEN is working to protect. Since its introduction, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ has had a chilling effect on LGBTQ+ youth, who already experience victimization such as bullying, harassment, and discrimination. The passage of hateful bill has emboldened extremists to step up their targeted harassment of those who dare oppose this harmful agenda.

"National and local LGBTQ organizations across the country, like GLSEN and our two Chapters in Florida, Collier County and Tampa Bay, have been fighting an uphill battle against this bill since the start of the legislative session. We were blindsided to learn that Disney, a corporate partner of GLSEN’s, was silent in their financial involvement with legislators behind the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

"We have an expectation that those we partner with would not work against us, but the silence against this hateful bill from Disney CEO Bob Chapek until public pressure forced a reaction speaks volumes and we are angry and deeply disappointed.

"This is not a partisan issue. When it comes to advancing LGBTQ+ justice for young people in schools there is no such thing as neutrality.

"GLSEN is heartbroken for the LGBTQ+ youth in Florida and nationwide. We understand that this is only the beginning of an ongoing fight against LGBTQ+ erasure in schools and communities. We will continue advocating in Florida and beyond and hold all corporations accountable to speak out, stand up, and fight against the hateful and discriminatory attacks that our LGBTQ+ community is facing across the country."