Disney's Magic Kingdom closed to same-sex weddings
compiled by Q-Notes staff
Thinking about a gay wedding at Disneyland? Don't. They'll take our dollars on Gay Day but won't roll out the carpet for same-sex nups.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Disneyland Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons, a “fantasy” wedding service offered by Disney, is available only to heterosexual couples. A recent investigation by the website AfterElton.com has uncovered the fact the Disney is discriminating against gay and lesbian couples wishing to have a wedding ceremony at either Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California.
“It wasn't an easy story to get,” said AfterElton editor Michael Jensen. “The information obtained from Disney’s Wedding consultants and from the Fairy Tale Weddings website was often contradictory and confusing.”
But Jensen finally did get an answer as to why same-sex couples are barred from having their wedding ceremonies on Disney properties: the private corporation requires a valid marriage license from the state in order to provide their wedding services. This despite the fact a license is not required to conduct a ceremony anywhere, only to ensure the state recognizes the legal validity of the wedding.
When Jensen asked why Disney, a private corporation, insisted it needs a valid marriage license to offer wedding services, Walt Disney World spokesperson Jason DiPietre responded that what “makes the marriage binding and recognized by the state [of Florida] is the license, so that is why we need the license.”
Florida state law, however, does not regulate to whom Disney may offer their wedding services; it only regulates which ceremonies the state recognizes as legal — a fact that Jensen pointed out to DiPietre.
He said in response: “What we offer our guests is the opportunity to get married through the state of Florida. A marriage is only recognized in the state [of Florida] with a marriage license.”
Though pressed further on the issue, DiPietre only stated: “The Walt Disney World Resort is open to everyone, every day. We extend our welcome to everyone and treat all of our guests with respect.”
Said Samiya Bashir of Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay advocacy group working for same-sex marriage nationwide: “There are countless companies all over Florida that offer their services to same-sex couples. So for any private company to lean on their state's legal discrimination to offer their own is fruitless.”