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Disney Escalates Battle With Gov. DeSantis, Files Lawsuit Alleging First Amendment Violation

Disney and DeSantis clash in court over "Don't Say Gay" bill and subsequent retaliations.

The Walt Disney Co. has filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, alleging a "campaign of government retaliation" for Disney's opposition to the "Don't Say Gay" legislation. This escalates the yearlong battle between DeSantis and Disney, as the governor's allies prepare further legislation to assert control over Disney's Orlando theme parks.

Disney expressed regret that a resolution could not be reached with the governor and had to resort to legal action. The lawsuit states that Disney is fortunate to have the resources to take a stand against the state's retaliation, which smaller businesses and individuals may not be able to do. Disney asserts that in America, the government cannot punish individuals for speaking their mind.

According to Wednesday's 77-page filing, Disney is alleging it has been the victim of a "targeted campaign of government retaliation" that has been "orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney's protected speech," which threatens Disney's business operations. This comes after DeSantis' statement that he might consider building a prison near Walt Disney World property, adding to the growing tensions between the two parties.

Disney's lawsuit reflects the severity of the conflict, asserting its First Amendment rights and opposition to alleged government retaliation. The outcome of this legal battle could have significant implications for both Disney and the state of Florida, as well as the broader conversation about free speech and government intervention in private business affairs.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the ongoing conflict between the Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to draw attention. The outcome of this lawsuit could have far-reaching implications, and observers will be closely watching as events unfold in court.

Image credit: Getty/Roberto Machado Noa

David Wolinsky on Google+

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