The Board of Supervisors appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to monitor Walt Disney World’s operations has voted to sue Disney.

It follows the entertainment giant’s federal lawsuit filed last Wednesday, April 26, accusing the governor of political retaliation

The panel, which had opposed the company’s self-governing status when it replaced a Disney-backed board weeks earlier, unanimously voted to authorize a lawsuit in state court.

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Board chair Martin Garcia said: “This district will seek justice in state court here in central Florida where both it and Disney reside and do business.”

In the last week’s complaint, Disney requested to restore its control over the special tax district that has allowed it to self-govern its Orlando-area parks’ operations since the 1960s.

This came after the Burbank-based firm slammed a Florida bill restricting sexual orientation and gender identity discussions in classrooms.

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The bill, better known as “Don’t Say Gay,” was enacted by the state’s Republican-held legislature and made effective by DeSantis in March 2022.

Within weeks, the governor and his supporters began targeting Disney’s special governance region, the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

“There is no room for disagreement about what happened here: Disney expressed its opinion on state legislation and was then punished by the State for doing so,” Disney’s lawsuit said.

The corporation said the state’s problems with the district began after the conflict over the classroom bill. 

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Board chair Martin Garcia said at a Monday morning meeting: “This district will seek justice in state court here in central Florida where both it and Disney reside and do business.

“Yes, we’ll see justice in our own backyard.”

The board claims that it is simply attempting to modernize the district and that it makes little sense to be stuck in a 1967 urban-planning design.

Disney’s action has ratcheted up a battle that began more than a year back.

The suit against Disney would have an impact on its self-governing status and can lead to increased government control over its operations.

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