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DeSantis’ New Disney Oversight Appointee’s Highly Controversial Statements Come to Light

Ron Peri Disney Oversight Board
Credit: Ron Peri / Disney

On February 27, after a nearly year-long battle, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which stripped Disney of its right to self-govern. For years, Disney and the state of Florida had maintained a good relationship, with Disney paying millions in taxes, along with all the jobs Walt Disney World Resort brought to the state. That all changed when former CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education Bill.

Ron DeSantis, Bob Chapek

Credit: NBC News (left), Disney (right)

With the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement Act, Governor DeSantis has appointed a board to oversee the area. The board is called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The Board consists of those appointed directly by DeSantis, including some who have donated to his campaign.

One of the board members is Ron Peri. With those on the board now coming into the spotlight, some of Peri’s past contentious comments are coming back into the light. Per reporting from CNN:

An appointee to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new oversight board in control of Disney’s special tax district called homosexuality “evil” last year and shared a baseless conspiracy theory that tap water could be making more people gay.

On Monday, the Republican governor appointed Ron Peri, an Orlando-based former pastor and the CEO of The Gathering – a Christian ministry focused on outreach to men…

“So why are there homosexuals today? There are any number of reasons, you know, that are given. Some would say the increase in estrogen in our societies. You know, there’s estrogen in the water from birth control pills. They can’t get it out,” Peri baselessly said in a January 2022 Zoom discussion, later put on YouTube. “The level of testosterone in men broadly in America has declined by 50 points in the past 10 years. You know, and so, maybe that’s a part of it.”

“But the big part I would suggest to you, based upon what it’s saying here, is the removal of constraint,” he continued. “So our society provided the constraint. And so, which is the responsibility of a society to constrain people from doing evil? Well, you remove the constraints, and then evil occurs.”

Ron Peri

Credit: Ron Peri

In that same video — which has been deleted since the comments made headlines once again — Peri also called homosexuality “shameful” and said that there were diseases linked to it. He also said that the fall of the Roman Empire could be blamed on homosexuality.

“Homosexuality was praised,” Peri said. “LGBTQ today is being emphasized everywhere, even on children’s shows. And so ultimately the Romans had become weak.”

This is not the first time that Governor DeSantis and his appointees have been accused of targeting the LGBTQ+ community. DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education bill was dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and Florida Republicans were accused of targeting LGBTQ+ citizens.

Ron DeSantis

Credit: WFLA

The other members of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District include Bridget Ziegler, Brian Aungst, Jr., Michael Sasso, and Martin Garcia. Ziegler is married to Christian Ziegler, the Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, who will oversee the 2024 election. Martin Garcia has donated tens of thousands of dollars to reelect the governor. None of the Oversight District board members have any experience with theme park operations.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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