The Walt Disney Company sidestepped the Parental Rights in Education bill — dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill — Thursday when it responded to activists calling for the company to publicly condemn the legislation.
The controversial bill passed the Florida House of Representatives in a 69-47 vote last week and advanced in the state Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday.
Should the bill become law, Florida educators would be barred from speaking to primary school students about certain LGBTQ+ topics that are not considered "age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students."
Under the bill, parents also would be able to take legal action against school districts they believe to be in violation.
"Good Morning America," which is owned by Disney, shared the media giant’s statement on the program’s Twitter account.
"We understand how important this issue is to our LGBTQ+ employees and many others," the statement read. "For nearly a century, Disney has been a unifying force that brings people together. We are determined that it remains a place where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
"The biggest impact we can have in creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create here, and the diverse community organizations we support, including those representing the LGBTQ+ community."
According to WKMG, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) held two rallies outside Disney Thursday, one in Florida and the other in California, calling on the company to share its views on the bill. The news outlet reported there were more than 200 people gathered outside the Florida location.
"Kids need a safe space to discuss issues that they are going through, and if for whatever reason they don’t feel safe talking to their parents, they need to speak to a trusted teacher or a counselor," Michael Kahane, of the AHF Foundation, said.
Demonstrators said that with Disney hosting a variety of LGBTQ+ events, such as "Gay Days," the company needs to take a stand.
"To turn your back on your guests and your employees because someone doesn't think they should be able to talk about sexual orientation or get guidance or counseling ... is hate speech," Kahane told WKMG.
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