The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said that this morning's decision by members of the Southern Baptist Convention to boycott Disney will mean that the Magic Kingdom will become the tragic kingdom. The religious organization announced yesterday that it would urge its 15.7 million members to boycott Disney theme parks and all other Disney products because of the company's "gay- friendly" policies.
The nation's largest Protestant denomination warned the Disney company a year ago that it had 12 months to change its policies and programming toward one that celebrates more traditional family values. The Southern Baptist Convention specifically opposed Disney's "Gay Days," the extension of health benefits to partners of gay employees and the recent coming out episode of "Ellen" on Disney-owned ABC television.
In a nationally televised news interview yesterday, Kerry Lobel, executive director of NGLTF told Reverend Richard Land, president of the Convention's Christian Life Commission that "Disney is modeling good citizenship and good citizenry through its policies. Walt Disney and his characters taught us that it's a small world after all, where every person is welcome."
Southern Baptist Convention members met today in Dallas and voted to boycott the Disney company. "I had hoped they would vote for America's children to have a safe-haven free from politics, fear and ignorance," Lobel said. "They can keep their children from Disneyland and Disney World, but they can't keep Disney characters from the hearts and minds of children. Characters like Dumbo, Pinocchio and Tigger have taught us that there is a welcoming family for every child and the Disney company's policies have demonstrated that this is the case."