Disney’s Attempt to Block District Takeover Case Not Dismissed by Judge

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A judge in Florida has denied Disney’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointees regarding the company’s attempts to neutralize the governor’s takeover of Disney World’s governing district. The lawsuit alleges that Disney wrongfully stripped appointees of their powers over design and construction at the theme park. The takeover by DeSantis came as retaliation for Disney’s public opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation championed by the governor and Republican lawmakers. In response, Disney filed its own lawsuit in federal court, claiming that DeSantis violated its free speech rights. Disney had argued that the state court decision would be moot since the Florida Legislature had already passed a law voiding the agreements made between the company and the previous governing board. Disney requested that the state court case be put on hold until the federal lawsuit was resolved, as they cover the same issues. The feud between DeSantis and Disney began when the company publicly opposed a state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result, DeSantis took over the district and appointed a new board of supervisors. Disney subsequently scrapped plans to build a new campus in central Florida, citing the ongoing conflict.

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