While the Parental Rights in Education bill has received severe backlash, the author of the bill, State Rep. Joe Harding (R-22), has also been under fire, from his politics to his personal life. Now, Rep. Harding is showing how strong his resolve is to stick behind Florida's parents and has returned all donations he has received from Disney.
Just today, Representative Harding announced he has returned all political contributions received from Disney and its affiliated companies. Representative Harding chose to return the funds because of Disney’s public criticism of his legislation and their failure to defend parents.
“I’m disappointed to see Disney speak out against this legislation, which is now Florida law,” said Representative Joe Harding. “As a company whose primary audiences are young children and families, Disney has let us down through their complicity with the false narratives pushed by liberal media, who have repeatedly mischaracterized the content of my legislation. Some radical elements of our society are embracing an idea that parents are unsuited to be parents and that schools have a primary role in determining when and how young children are exposed to sexual topics. I invite Disney to reconsider its position and join forces with those of us who support parents first.”
Disney employees across the country, mainly in California, hosted walk outs of their work place in protest of the Disney CEO's lack of action against the legislation.
"Disney has long been a pillar of the Florida economy and provides family-friendly entertainment for both Floridians and tourists of every nation," said Representative Harding. "But their rejection of common sense, parents-first principles gives me no other choice but to return their donations. No matter the cost, I will continue to fight for the children in our school systems and their families."
A poll conducted across the country shows that many Americans would potentially agree with Harding, as 67% of Americans oppose the stance the Walt Disney Corporation has taken against the legislation.