One of Gov. Ron DeSantis' hand-picked appointees to oversee Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement Project has made a number of eye-popping anti-LGBTQ statements, according to reporting from CNN
Ron Peri, an Orlando-based former minister and head of Christian Ministry group "The Gathering," is one of five DeSantis appointees to a newly created oversight board that will oversee the Reedy Creek Improvement Project taxing district — now dubbed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District — that strips Disney of the self-governing municipal power it held in Florida for more than 50 years.
According to CNN, during a Zoom call in 2022, Peri — after wondering aloud "So why are there homosexuals today?" — posited that one answer is increased levels of estrogen in tap water (from birth control pills, no less) making men gay. He later called homosexuality "shameful," claimed that LGBTQ people have "no stake in the future" because they can't reproduce (which um ... nope), and threw out the tired old myth of gay people being responsible for the fall of the Roman empire. He also called gay people "evil" and "deviant," and he compared abortion to a genocide à la the Holocaust.
Peri and his four fellow appointees — whose numbers also include
a co-founder of the book-banning mega-enthusiasts Moms for Liberty — replace Reedy Creek's former governing board as a result of a law passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by DeSantis at the end of February. DeSantis has said the Reedy Creek arrangement gave Disney World an unfair advantage and moved to have it entirely dissolved after former Disney CEO Bob Chapek criticized Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law.
All of this is to say that Peri, a grown-up human who thinks you can catch gay from tap water, will now be making decisions that will impact Central Florida as a whole.
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