Press

Disney Boycott Will Mean ‘Tragic’ Kingdom

Date: 
June 18, 1997

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today said that this morning's decision of 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.

CNBC Bull Session Rev. Richard Land Kerry Lobel 6/17/97In 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."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.