Mickey Mouse Anti-Gay Protests by Operation Rescue
Operation Rescue National is a group based in Texas whose mandate was
originally confined to restricting women's access to abortion. They are now expanding
their mission to oppose homosexuals.
On 1997-DEC-29, 75 to 100 anti-gay activists partially blocked entry to Disney world in
Orlando FL. Some protestors held signs reading messages like: "Disney Promotes
Homosexuality" and "If You Love Jesus, Turn Around," and
"Homosexuality is an abomination to God." They handed out American
Family Association literature to drivers of cars at a traffic light. This generated
some heated interaction between motorists and activists. The resultant delays generated a
two mile traffic backup. Three activists were arrested because they refused to obey a
police officer's cease and desist order. They are Rev. Phillip "Flip"
49, executive director of Operation Rescue National, Matthew Scott Bowman, 22, of
Wheeling, WV, and Seth Marschke 19, of Orland Park, IL.
Benham said that the issue is not just homosexuality, or abortion: "It's about
whose law reigns, God's law or . . . Walt's or Mickey's or Michael Eisner's."
(Michael Eisner is the CEO of Disney.)
Although the maximum fine for giving people literature as they drive by is $39, the
three are being held on $500 bail.
Bill Warren, a Disney spokesman said that the company stands behind its products and
won't prevent anyone from attending its parks. "We've tried to create a place
where everyone feels welcome. We are clearly a company that believes strongly in
Phil Long, "Anti-gay group stages protest at Disney World," Miami
Lesley Clark and Lenny Savino, "Disney protest brings 3 arrests. Operation
Rescue leader, others slam policies on gays," Orlando Sentinel, 1997-DEC-30
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