Baptists Return to Disney, Empty-Handed
Disney, watch out: the Southern Baptists are coming! That's the announcement coming out of the Southern Baptist Convention being held this week:
Southern US Baptists ended an eight-year boycott of the Walt Disney Company for violating "moral righteousness and traditional family values" in a vote on the final day of the faith's annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee today ...
At the SBC's 1997 convention in Dallas, a resolution was passed calling for Southern Baptists to refrain from patronising Disney theme parks and Disney products, mainly because of the entertainment company's decision to give benefits to companions of gay employees.
"We felt like it was time to end it. We're hopeful Disney will do what the resolution calls for," [Gene] Mims [sponsor of the resolution] added.
In other words, the boycott utterly failed. Despite a full-scale, eight-year war waged by all the soldiers the far-right Baptists could muster against Disney's supposed "orgy of depravity," the boycott ended up having little impact on Disney's bottom line. Earlier this month, thousands of gay and lesbian Americans flocked to Disney World for another wildly successful "Disney Gay Day."
The Baptist's aren't the only ones to throw in the towel. Earlier this year, the American Family Association "scrapped a nine-year boycott of the Disney Corporation, admitting that the effort had failed to cause Disney to alter its gay-friendly policies," according to news reports.
The radical fundamentalist right has suffered a bitter defeat, and now can only dejectedly stumble back to Disney's gates, elated tikes in tow.
Sounds like a victory for progress to me.
Chris Kromm is executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies and publisher of the Institute's online magazine, Facing South.