Days after Disney sued the Florida governor in federal court for what he described as retaliation for opposing the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the Disney World board members, made up of Governor Ron DeSantis appointees, have also sued the entertainment giant.

Members of the Central Florida Tourism Supervisory District voted unanimously to sue Disney in state court in the Orlando area, as well as to defend themselves in federal court in Tallahassee, where the entertainment company filed its trial last Wednesday.

Disney’s lawsuit against the governor, board and its five members asks a judge to overturn the governor’s takeover of the theme park district that previously controlled Disney for 55 years.

“We will seek justice in our own backyard,” said Martin Garcia, president of the Central Florida Tourism Supervisory District. An email seeking comment was sent to Disney officials Monday morning.

Disney filed a lawsuit last week after the DeSantis-appointed board of supervisors voted to void a deal that gave the company the power to make design and build decisions in its large properties near Orlando.

Disney’s lawsuit was the latest salvo in a more than year-long dispute between Disney and DeSantis that has drawn criticism from the governor as he prepares to launch an expected presidential bid in the coming months.

DeSantis, who has cast himself as a Republican firebrand capable of deftly implementing his conservative agenda without drama, plunged headlong into the fray with the beloved business and major tourism driver, while chiefs corporate and White House rivals criticize his stance as a rejection of the principles of small government conservatism.

The fight began last year after Disney, under significant pressure, publicly opposed a state law that bans classroom lessons about sexual orientation and gender identity in early years. years, a policy that critics call “Don’t Say Gay”.

As punishment, DeSantis took over the self-governing district of Disney World and appointed a new board of supervisors that would oversee municipal services at the sprawling theme parks. But before the new board arrived, the company struck a last-minute deal that stripped the new supervisors of much of their authority.

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