DeSantis Disney oversight board appointee has questioned if tap water makes people gay

Former pastor and DeSantis colleague Ron Peri thinks homosexuality is “evil” and wonders if tap water causes it

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published March 3, 2023 7:37PM (EST)

Female hand holding shower spray nozzle with rainbow pride color water cartoon graphic. (Biruoh/Getty)
Female hand holding shower spray nozzle with rainbow pride color water cartoon graphic. (Biruoh/Getty)

Former pastor Ron Peri, an appointee to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' Disney oversight board, is being called into question for homophobic comments and the speculation that tap water makes people gay. 

Peri is one of five people brought on by DeSantis after push-back over Disney's former chairman speaking out against Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law. On Monday, a bill was signed allowing the park's Reedy Creek Improvement District to remain autonomous, but with the newly installed overlording of DeSantis' board at the helm of governing power. 

On Friday, a CNN investigation into Peri's background uncovered a 2022 Zoom discussion in which a wealth of anti-gay comments were made by the new appointee which seem to fall in line with DeSantis' campaign against the LGBTQ community. 

"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 says in the video, which can be seen below.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

In addition to overseeing DeSantis' "de-wokeified" Disney World, Peri also serves as CEO of The Gathering – a Christian ministry focused on outreach to men, per CNN's reporting.

In the Zoom call referenced above, Peri can also be heard saying "There are a lot of unhealthy effects of a homosexual lifestyle. There are diseases, but it goes beyond that." In yet another Zoom call referenced by The New Republic, he branches off to the subject of abortion, comparing it to "Holocaust-levels of genocide."

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

MORE FROM Kelly McClure

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Desantis Disney