Disney opens up weddings to same-sex couples

April 10, 2007

LOS ANGELES — Walt Disney announced on April 5 that it has decided to open up its Fairy Tale Weddings service to include same-sex couples. The company had previously only allowed same-sex couples to have weddings at the Disney resorts� meeting rooms.

"We are updating our Fairy Tale Wedding guidelines to include commitment ceremonies," Disney Parks and Resorts spokesperson Donn Walker told Reuters. "This is consistent with our policy of creating a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment for all of our guests."

The change in policy came about after a gay guest inquired about the Fairy Tale Wedding service, Walker explained to Reuters. In March, popular gay Web site AfterElton.com took issue with the company's previous policies.

The Fairy Tale Wedding has a minimum cost of $8,000. For that price, guests get someone who will plan their wedding, food, drinks, flowers, decorations for the table, and the ceremony itself. There is also an option to get taken to the wedding by a Cinderella coach, to have trumpeters announcing the couple, and to have Mickey and Minnie Mouse as wedding guests.

Conservatives, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, have been angry at Disney for years over what they perceived as its furthering of the �gay agenda,� according to Reuters. Various conservative organizations have boycotted the company because of this. Reuters says these groups have been upset with Disney�s policy of giving health insurance to same-sex partners of Disney workers; permitting a �Gay Day� on their property; and the airing of Ellen, the popular sitcom which starred Ellen DeGeneres, on Disney-owned ABC.

Walker said that the change in policy is all about extending equal rights to all its customers. "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," Walker explained to Reuters. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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