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Southern Baptists take on Disney

Disney logo

Denomination votes to boycott
company over gay policies

June 12, 1996
Web posted at: 8:30 p.m. EDT

From Correspondent Gloria Hillard

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Southern Baptists say they won't be visiting Disney theme parks this summer if the company doesn't change some of its policies that they say promote homosexuality.

Henry

In an overwhelming show of hands at the church's national convention in New Orleans, they also agreed to swear off Walt Disney Co. movies and products.

Topping their list of objections is Disney's policy extending health benefits to the live-in partners of gay employees.

"We've got five grandsons," said Southern Baptist Convention President Jim Henry. "I was going to Disney. I don't think I will now. Hopefully we'll hear from Disney (and) they'll say we hear you."

Disney did hear, and responded.


Disney quote

In a two-page resolution, the Southern Baptists also objected to independently sponsored gay-themed events at Disney theme parks and to movies with adult themes made by Disney subsidiaries such as Miramax.

Disney is one of more than 40 entertainment companies and unions that now offer same-sex benefits. The policy has been promoted extensively among entertainment companies by Hollywood Supports, a non-profit group founded by Hollywood industry figures.

Jennings

Hollywood Supports executive director Richard Jennings said that the Baptist boycott signals "a sad day for organized religion."

The resolution states that Southern Baptists traditionally have revered Disney as "having an historic commitment to traditional family values."

But, Jennings said, gay men and lesbians are a part of the Disney family, helping to create the Disney product.


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