After 15 visits to Walt Disney World, Kim Jones won't be returning. The Sarasota, Fla., woman plans to boycott the Magic Kingdom after her experience at this year's "Gay and Lesbian Day" June 1.
Not only did many lesbians make suggestive remarks to her and her mature-looking, 10-year-old niece, homosexual men were whistling at her fiancée and yelling crude remarks at him, said Jones, who attends Bay Haven Baptist Church in Sarasota.
"It's disgraceful," she said.
Jones said the most embarrassing incident was taking one of her two daughters into a restroom and seeing two men dressed in skirts entering the stalls. It was obvious they were males because of their hairy legs, she said, and two more were coming in as she and her daughter exited the restroom.
Outside, many other men with long fingernails and long hair were wearing skirts, skin-tight tights or muscle shirts, while the majority of the "Gay Day" participants wore red T-shirts — the "uniform" for homosexuals, Jones said.
She also was offended by obvious cocaine snorting by homosexuals in front of and behind them as they waited in ride lines, Jones said. After several hours, they had seen enough.
"We didn't complain, we just left," she said.
Jones isn't alone in her disgust. Ray Henry, pastor of Belvedere Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, said a couple from his church meets out-of-state relatives for a three-day family reunion at Disney World yearly, but they left early this year because of "Gay Day."
This happened before the family was even aware that Southern Baptists were going to consider a boycott, he said, referring to a resolution adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in June threatening a boycott if the Walt Disney Company continues in an anti-family direction.
"Once people stumble upon these things, you're going to have an automatic boycott," Henry said. "They're not going to let their kids stand in line with gays flaunting their homosexuality. They're going to leave without any SBC resolution."
Henry said others' distasteful experiences likewise have been the subject of much discussion and have prompted a dilemma at Belvedere Baptist. The question is whether to support the upcoming "Night of Joy" Christian music festival, he said, or boycott it and hurt the artists.
"What (Disney) is doing now is offending people," Henry said. "They're having these days and people are leaving. They can jump on Southern Baptists, but we may be helping them out — they may need to adjust what they're doing."
The outrage extended beyond Florida's borders, too. Four weeks after "Gay Day," a Pennsylvania woman wrote to Disney officials to complain, sending a copy of her letter to the SBC Executive Committee.
Joyce McCoury of Spring Grove, Pa., said she and her husband, Richard, had long awaited a visit to Disney World and were upset there were no signs warning them of "Gay Day." She said she felt her rights were violated by having to see some of the things they did and not having a choice to return another day.
"The displays of affection and some of the things we witnessed were appalling to us," McCoury wrote. "There were other people who had children and some of the comments we heard were very upsetting. People were very disgusted that their children had to be subjected to such behavior."
And now the event is being expanded and publicized on the copyrighted "Gay Day" home page on the Internet for June 5-9, 1997.
The week after this year's event, the Orlando Sentinel-Star tourism columnist wrote that sponsors hope to turn it into a three-day celebration including Universal Studios and Sea World.
That prospect bothers Barbara Williams, who chairs the current issues committee of Orlando's First Baptist Church.
"What we're troubled about is they're going to advertise in foreign magazines and call Orlando the gay and lesbian vacation spot," Williams said.
However, Williams doesn't plan to boycott the amusement park because of "Gay Day" — she's already been boycotting because of Disney-subsidiary movies, such as Miramax's R-rated "Priest," "Kids" and "Pulp Fiction," as well as mysticism and New Age material in its Epcot Center exhibits.
"They have a lot of good things, too," Williams said, "American exhibits and other things. But I think the bad overcomes that, especially the movies they've gone into."
Real Phone Sex Number in Disney Film: A Pattern of Duplicity
According to the Associated Press, The Walt Disney Company's subtle assault on family values continued in the film The Santa Clause. This time the number of an actual phone sex line appears in the film aimed at children and families. Disney released the popular movie during the 1994 Christmas season. The video was released last Christmas.
The questionable scene occurs early in the film when star Tim Allen, of television's popular Home Improvement, is talking with his ex-wife. She gives Allen a number where the children can be reached to which Allen replies, "1-800-XXX-XXXX." (Number intentionally omitted.)
The number Allen gave is in reality a phone sex service catering to heterosexual and homosexual clients. The recorded message offers a titillating, seductive sales pitch and a variety of payment schemes including a 900 service to be charged to the caller's phone bill.
A spokesman for the Disney Company denied the number was put in the film intentionally, and said it was only meant as a joke. (Can a thing be done unintentionally — and said to have meaning as a joke?)
Disney claimed not to know that it was a working number. Tanya Moloney, Disney's vice-president of home video distribution then tried to shift the blame to parents saying, "Parents do need to take responsibility to prevent their children from calling any number they see or hear."
The Santa Clause scenario is just one in a series of missteps by Disney. Prior examples include use of a phallic symbol in the cover art of the videotape The Little Mermaid. The film also includes a scene where the priest marrying the hero and heroine apparently is sexually aroused as the Princess approaches the altar. The two actors that supplied voices for the characters Timon and Pumba in The Lion King say they played the duo as being homosexual and say that makes the cartoon animals the first openly homosexual animated characters.
From an American Family Association report.
What Did You Expect?
Baptists Have Always Stood for Their Beliefs
by Mark Brister
Returning from the Southern Baptist Convention recently, Rhonda and I stopped in Baton Rouge to eat a little seafood on our way back home. We had seen the seafood restaurant sign on the highway. Our waiter was cordial as we looked at the different Cajun cuisine, and prepared to enjoy some of that wonderful Louisiana cooking that we all love. A man and his wife came in and sat down at the table next to us. The same waiter brought them a menu and talked to them. The woman immediately began to complain. She told the waiter that she hated seafood. She exclaimed that she couldn't stand Cajun cooking. She told him she thought restaurants that didn't offer alternatives to Cajun food were not good restaurants. Well, I asked myself, "What in the world did this woman expect?" After reading the menu top to bottom for about five minutes, she and her husband left the restaurant in disgust. I suppose they must have gone to a barbecue place or a Mexican restaurant!
Sometimes people act surprised when Baptists make bold statements about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Encourage the Disney Corporation to turn back from making R-rated films, and stick with classic cartoons? Encourage evangelism for everyone? Speak out against the President of the United States for vetoing a partial birth abortion bill? Oppose gambling? Well, my question is, "What did you expect?" After all, we are Bible-believing Christians first and foremost. The spiritual cuisine we serve is from the Bible. We accept no substitutes for the real thing. While lots of folks today may complain, I'll stick to that basic spiritual food that I was brought up on. It tasted good then. It tastes even better now. Yes sir, time for a little evangelistic étouffeé.
Mark Brister is pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church, Shreveport, La., and was Chairman of the Program and Structure Study Committee.