Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said that even pressure from a giant “woke” corporation like the Walt Disney Co. will not make him abandon his support for the rights of parents.
State legislators this week gave final approval to the Parental Rights in Education bill, which largely focuses on procedures to ensure that parents can be informed of any services students receive at school.
About halfway through the bill, it says, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
That clause has drawn the ire of LGBT activists.
On Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek publicly declared his disdain for the bill and said he had pushed against it behind the scenes, according to Fox News.
“I called Gov. DeSantis this morning to express our disappointment and concern that if the legislation becomes law, it could be used to unfairly target gay, lesbian, non-binary, and transgender kids and families,” he said.
But the Republican governor, in a meeting with supporters on Thursday, said young children deserve to live without being drafted into the left’s gender wars.
“In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten,” DeSantis said.
“First-graders shouldn’t have woke gender ideology imposed in their curriculum, and that is what we’re standing for because we’re standing for the kids and we’re standing for the parents,” he said.
The governor said the howls of critics will not change his position on the bill.
“And I can tell you this: The chance that I am going to back down from my commitment to students and back down from my commitment to parents’ rights simply because of fraudulent media narratives or pressure from woke corporations — the chances of that are zero,” he said.
In a video exclusively obtained by @FoxNews Digital. @GovRonDeSantis slams #Disney saying “In Florida, our policies got to be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations.” pic.twitter.com/Op87xgsLzB
— Kelly Laco (@kelly_laco) March 10, 2022
DeSantis then noted the dissonance between Disney, which makes millions off of families, undermining parents.
“And when you have companies that have made a fortune off being family-friendly and catering to families and young kids, they should understand that parents of young kids do not want this injected into their kid’s kindergarten classroom,” he said.
“They do not want their first-graders to go and be told that they can choose an opposite gender,” he said. “That is not appropriate for those kids. So if you’re family-friendly, understand the parents, who are actually raising families, want to have their rights respected.”
He said Disney is far from pure in its business dealings.
“You have companies, like a Disney, that are going to say and criticize parents’ rights, they’re going to criticize the fact that we don’t want transgenderism in kindergarten in first-grade classrooms,” he said.
“If that’s the hill they’re going to die on, then how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China? Because that’s what they do, and they make a fortune, and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices that you see over there at the hands of the CCP,” he said.
DeSantis then delivered his bottom line.
“And so in Florida, our policy’s got to be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.