Walt Disney World to host LGBT conference in September

Virus Outbreak-Disney-Vaccine Mandate
The Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is seen at the theme park, Aug. 30, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, file) John Raoux/AP

Walt Disney World to host LGBT conference in September

Video Embed

The Walt Disney World Resort is set to host a major LGBT conference in September, over a year after Disney spoke out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law.

The Out & Equal Workplace Summit will be hosted at the Central Florida resort, per the Tampa Bay Times, from Sept. 12-14.


The Walt Disney Company is a partner of the organization, along with Apple, Bank of America, Pfizer, Visa, the State Department, and the Central Intelligence Agency, among others.

The organization bills the conference as the “largest LGBTQ+ conference in the world,” saying it brings 5,000 attendees who are “ERG leaders and members, and HR and DEI professionals and experts – all working for LGBTQ+ equality.”

The Walt Disney World Resort hosts various conferences varying in topic throughout the year. The last time the workplace summit was hosted at the Walt Disney World Resort was in 2016 when it was held at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.

The 2016 conference came months after the Pulse shooting in Orlando, where a gunman killed 49 people at the gay nightclub. The 2023 conference comes more than a year after Disney publicly opposed the Parental Rights in Education bill in the Sunshine State.

The law prevents classrooms from kindergarten through third grade from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity and forbade schools from withholding information from parents about students’ health and well-being. The bill was dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law by opponents, who falsely claimed it banned the word “gay.”

Disney initially stayed quiet on the bill, with then-CEO Bob Chapek saying internally that a public statement would only be weaponized against the company. After pressure from some activists within the company, the company came out swinging against the bill when it was signed into law.

“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” the company said in March 2022.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) responded to Disney’s strong opposition by calling its claims about the bill “fundamentally dishonest” and said he would not bow down to the California-based company.

“This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives,” DeSantis said in March 2022. “They do not run this state. They do not control this state.”

After Disney weighed in on state politics, the state legislature and DeSantis moved to strip the company of its self-governing status for its Central Florida resort. After passing a law in April 2022 to dissolve the special taxing district, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the district was restructured via a law passed in February 2023.


The new “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District” takes away some of the company’s powers while adding further state oversight, including having the governor appoint the board for the district. DeSantis claims the law also dictates that Disney will be responsible for its debts acquired while it ran the district before its restructuring.

In a statement before the bill was signed into law, Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle said they “are ready to work within this new framework.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles