Saturday, April 07, 2007
Gay Marriage+ Mickey Mouse
I know many people that have worked for Disney, and the company is notorious for draconian treatment of employees, but on the civil rights front Disney is coming out(heh heh) as a front runner for tolerance. They have been taking flak for years by religious conservatives, mostly Southern Baptists, for having 'Gay Day' at the parks, and for extending employees' benefits to same sex partners, but Disney knows something that the Southern Baptist Convention hasn't figured out yet. There are a lot more gay men and women who want to get married at Disneyland/world than there are Baptists who don't. And while happiness is mandatory at Walt's parks, it's the almighty dollar that truly makes Mickey's eyes light up. While the parks on both coasts allowed same sex couples to book vow renewal ceremonies, the actual wedding package (which includes arrival in Cinderella's coach, heralds trumpeting the arrival, and formally garbed Minnie and Mickey in attendance) required a valid marriage licence; something neither state currently grant to gay couples. After some inquiries by prospective couples, and some online criticism from AfterElton.com, Disney has announced that the $8,000 wedding package is now available for 'commitment ceremonies'. Disney spokesman Donn Walker said. "This is consistent with our policy of creating a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment for all of our guests...We are not in the business of making judgments about the lifestyle of our guests. We are in the hospitality business and our parks and resorts are open to everyone."