Florida 'family' group flies anti-gay banner over Disney World

Sun. June 5, 2011 6:57 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Orlando, Fla. - This weekend, the anti-gay Florida Family Association paid thousands of dollars to fly a plane with a banner warning Disney World visitors that Saturday was "Gay Day."

Gay Day is actually a weeklong celebration that attracts more than 150,000 people to the Orlando area every year. Organizers estimate those visitors spend $150 million.

"The economy is improving because of what Gay Days bring into it," Gay Day president, Chris Alexander-Manley told CNN. "Our crowd behaves better than most convention crowds, so come on out and see what it's really about."

The Florida Family Association believes they already know "what it's really about," and they claim that every year, thousands of Disney visitors pay for parking, tickets and souvenirs before realizing there are gay people in the park and bailing. (Disney said that isn't true, and given that tickets for children cost $79, and adult tickets are $87, it also seems unlikely that people would throw that kind of money away.)

"Why would Disney allow Gay Day to take place during regular operating hours at the expense of offending tens of thousands of unsuspecting guests when they require other special events to be held after normal operating hours?" the group asks, citing events like "Grad Night" which are held after the park closes.

The Florida Family Association also argues that Gay Day participants do outrageous things like kissing in public.

"Many Gay Day patrons wore shirts that promoted homosexuality, kissed, hugged and groped in very public places and dressed in drag all to the curiosity of tens of thousands of children," the group said.