Disney has at last opened their Disney "Fairy Tale Weddings" to same-sex couples. Which means a gay or lesbian couple can now too arrive at their ceremony in a glass coach pulled by four dappled-gray mares, and they can even have Mickey and Minnie Mouse in attendance.
Folks at Disney apparently had a change of heart after last month asserting that a Florida marriage license was mandatory for the Disney World ceremonies that can also take place at the "It's a Small World Mall" and that come complete with a "fairy godplanner."
"We believe this change is consistent with Disney's longstanding policy of welcoming every guest in an inclusive environment," Disney Parks and Resorts spokesman Donn Walker said earlier today. "We want everyone who comes to celebrate a special occasion at Disney to feel welcome and respected."
Yeah, that, and Disney is looking at the bottom line. The Fortune 500 company seems to have finally realized that there is cash money to be made from opening their $8,000 and up wedding operation up to a relatively affluent population. Cameron brings home this economic argument in our current issue:
If half the same-sex couples now living together were to get married (the rate seen in Vermont and Massachusetts) and were to spend a quarter of what straight couples do, it results in a wedding-industry boon of $2 billion.
Unclear what the fallout will be from the right. The Southern Baptist Convention enforced a boycott of Disney for years for its "gay agenda," which includes providing health benefits to same-sex partners of employees, and the airing of a primetime show on its ABC network featuring, gasp, Ellen!
The convention dropped its boycott in 2005; but now that Mickey and Minnie will be cheering on gay marriage? We'll see what happens.