From The Orlando Sentinel:
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has become the first to welcome
folks to Gay Days at Disney, saying “I’m the first mayor
to attend this event, and I promise this won’t be my
It would be a kind gesture of Christian hospitality for Exodus officials Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas to welcome gays to Orlando — unconditionally. They ask nothing less of gays.
An Ex-Gay Watch reader comments on the Family Policy Network’s planned flyover of Gay Days, which would violate federal restrictions on Disney’s airspace.
Seemingly from another planet, the Family Policy Network
has declared itself immune from anti-terrorism measures,
saying the Disney World no-fly zone — which precludes it
from flying anti-gay banners during Gay Days — infringes
its free speech.
There are more silly inferences there than I have
fingers AND toes. The FPN can’t reach out on foot? They
prefer circa-1920 marketing innovations? They’ve fixed
their funders’ eyes on images of Snoopy-style
banner-flyers swarming the park and can?t disappoint them
now? People ought to be protected from terrorists, unless
The FPN plan was announced on such short notice, with so little advance effort to get federal clearance, that one suspects the Disney portion of the plan was never intended to leave the ground in the first place.
FPN is raising a fair sum of money, knowing that it cannot fly, and it is now crying “censorship,” raising more money and generating free publicity over not being granted the special right (thus far) to violate federal air-security regulations.
I have no doubt FPN will fly over Gay Days at other theme parks this year. But much of the money for those flights will have been raised from the media circus FPN is creating around its foreseen inability to fly over Walt Disney World.
If in fact the Disney fly-over was honestly planned, then it was executed with a level of carelessness and incompetence that will give taxpayers reason to keep the organizers and donors away from public office and taxpayer dollars.
Perhaps I’m being cynical, but over the years, I’ve seen a variety of activist groups — fighting for a variety of causes — use smoke-and-mirror tactics to raise money cheaply.
Whatever the case, FPN has succeeded in communicating its assumption that homosexuals are untouchables who must be talked-at from far, far away. Personal, face-to-face engagement and hand-shaking are not even publicly considered.
The Ex-Gay Watch reader concludes:
You can’t help but wonder how Alan Chambers feels about
the hubbub around his home town. A few months ago he
tried, but failed, to preserve Orlando landlords’ option
to discriminate against gay tenants. Does his quality of
life decline when his mayor welcomes tourists who are
different from him? If anti-gay beliefs justify
discrimination, do they also merit the suspension of
public safety measures that apply to the rest of us?
In his defense, Alan’s a heckuva lot smarter than that.
Protecting his city from terrorism is more important than
giving special rights to non-traditional advertisers.
One can hope.
Someday, perhaps, Exodus will graciously welcome flyovers of its events by gay hang-gliding enthusiasts.
Or better yet, maybe the flying fanatics on all sides will come down to Earth and learn how to “talk” with each other.