hey mickey

Disney Won’t Add Ex-Gays to Non-Discrimination Policies. And HRC Is Cheering?


In October we learned about the effort from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, the organization for those cured of The Gay, to get Disney to ban discrimination against ex-gays, the semi-legally protected sexual orientation class. It didn’t go so well.

A shareholder meeting this week saw the proposal get shot down, which Disney’s board recommended, and because there weren’t enough votes to reach a 3 percent threshold the matter cannot be brought up again for another four years.

The idea of “ex-gays” as a sexual orientation is a little bit silly for a few reasons. First, it suggests that sexual orientation can be changed, which is a farce. Second, if somebody was gay, but is now straight, that person is in theory a heterosexual, and would fall under any existing sexual orientation protections, because one’s sexuality cannot be a reason for termination.

But PFOX, a ragtag merry band of library enthusiasts, wanted specific protections for any employees identifying as ex-gay. Because without them, theoretically, Mickey Mouse could fire you for switching from gay to straight. And while that scenario is pretty much impossible if the world’s leading psychologists are to be believed, who are we to say what sexuality a Disney employee gets to identify as?

In a blog post, the Human Rights Campaign calls the shareholder vote a “victory.” Which is a little funny, because isn’t the Human Rights Campaign in favor of prohibiting all types of discrimination?

Us? We support banning workplace discrimination based on any sexuality. And that includes someone who believes he is ex-gay. We don’t want anyone forcing us to fit into the boxes they created, and we refuse to do the same to anyone else. If ex-gays want to be protected, great! We’ll support it! We don’t really believe anyone can ditch homosexuality, but if deep down you think you did, you shouldn’t be targeted in the workplace for identifying as a former ‘mo. Even if PFOX is a laughable institution, there are people out there who believe they are ex-gay, and they should not suffer the torment of workplace harassment for the same reasons gays, bisexuals, and transgender employees should not: because it isn’t right.

Our initial criticism of PFOX’s Disney strategy had nothing to do with keeping ex-gays protected, but with the organization’s obvious double standards about sexuality protections; PFOX is the same organization that lobbied against the Matthew Shepard Act, showing it only sometimes supports discrimination protection based on sexuality.

And now, it appears, so does HRC.

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  • emb

    Gotta call bulls*it on this one, Queerty. You don’t get to mock the “ex-gay” movement as an outlandish and baseless act of self-loathing by the victims and aggressive hate by the perpetrators, and at the same time get all misty-eyed that Disney isn’t granting a seal of approval to the perps’ message that we’re all sick and ultimately curable. HRC is right this time: it IS a victory, because a major corporation is calling bulls*it on the religious right’s vile agenda.

  • Joey

    This is totally crazy. What the fuck are you talking about Queerty?

  • Jeremy

    This is off-base rationale, folks. The point is that “ex-gays” already ARE protected. Because there’s no such thing as an “ex-gay”: They are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual. Thy don;t get to create a new (politically-motivated) category just because they say so.

  • Jeremy

    “If ex-gays want to be protected, great! We’ll support it!

    This is seriously dangerous language. Queerty, I implore you to reconsider what you have said here.

    As stated above: “Ex-gays” are protected in all inclusive sexual orientation policies, because they are LGB or S. Most every LGBT person supports this without what question. But they are not a separate protected class! Getting their movement considered as a valid protected class is the first part of their strategy. A strategy that is meant to invalidate our own movement.

  • ben doverr

    This whole despicable PFOX ex-gays-need-protection notion is just another attempt — by the fundies that hate us — to muddy the waters where real protections are needed.

    It didn’t fool the Mouse. Good for you, Mickey.

  • geoffrey

    There’s something that makes me keep reading this. Maybe… why I used to read the Drudge Report. A train wreck phenomenon. But sometimes I really get the idea that this website is written by idiots

  • Joshua

    SCREW THAT! If you want to say your ‘ex-gay’ and spread the belief that you can pray the gay away or cure it or whatever then you dont deserve the same rights. If this is true… then they are straight, being ‘ex-gay’ isnt a friggen sexual orientaion, thats THE dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. I told people i was straight until i came out… OHHH so i’m not gay, i’m just ex-sraight. Fantastic. Well i should preolly start to fight for ex-straight rights. Th emost rediculous thing i ever heard, you wanna be ex-gay, then you can be ex-employed.

  • Wayne Besen

    Um, so-called “ex-gays” are already covered. Almost all laws that deal with this issue ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or both. Obviously, ex-gays are already covered by such broad language.

    So, what we are really looking at is.

    1) A PR stunt from PFOX

    2) A blatant attempt to water down all non-discrimination clauses and laws. You can protect people based on a characteristic, not by an alleged former one.

    If this were to pass, you could have people trying to protect people why are “ex-country music fans”. Or “ex-Catholics” or whatever one no longer identifies with.

    I’m disappointed that Queerty fell for this cheap PR gimmick and publicity stunt that has nothing to do with reality.

  • Cam

    If they are living an “Ex Gay” lifestyle, then they are presenting themselves as “Stright” to the world. So if they are gay they’re protected. If they are living as straight then they don’t need the protections. This is all a ploy by a psychologically discredited movement to try to gain legitimacy. If Disney recognized them, then they could claim that the program is valid despite what the American Psychological Association says.

  • DillonS

    This is another attempt by Queerty to get comments and justify their weak approach to gay journalism. Again, they equate comments with doing a good job. It is very, very sad.

  • Evan


    PFOX is the most transparently dishonest organization on the Religious Right, and you’re falling for their crap?

  • DR

    What a lousy piece. Poorly reasoned and thought-out.

  • Mike

    “The most important fact about ‘reparative therapy,’ also sometimes
    known as ‘conversion’ therapy, is that it is based on an understanding
    of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major health and
    mental health professions. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the
    American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric
    Association, the American Psychological Association, the National
    Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of
    Social Workers, together representing more than 477,000 health and
    mental health professionals, have all taken the position that
    homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus there is no need for a

    I rest my case

  • Evan Hurst

    Whoops, that was me above, but I’ll flesh it out a little more:

    As Wayne said, the crap from PFOX is a publicity stunt, pure and simple, and you’re playing into their grubby little malevolent hands when you fall for their crap in this way.

    This is not “encouraging discussion,” you’re just embarrassing yourselves. The HRC isn’t supporting any kind of discrimination against anyone, and it’s specious and intellectually bankrupt to suggest that they are.

    If ex-gays are real (they’re not), then they’re straight, and they’re protected. If they’re still gay (they are), they’re protected. Everybody wins!

    And look, nobody had to fall for Regina Griggs’ insane fever dreams for everybody to win. EXCITING.

  • David in Houston

    As others have said, there is no such thing as ex-gay. If these so-called ex-gay people have been “cured” then everyone should assume that they are now straight. (Obviously, even they don’t think they are.) Straight people don’t need additional discrimination protection.

  • bobito

    I guess if a man who was sometimes sexually involved with women but is now sexually involved with a man (or men) can technically identify as ‘bisexual’, I don’t see why a man who was sexually involved with men but is now sexually involved with women has to refer to himself as ‘ex-gay’. If he insists upon addressing his entire sexual history for his current sexual identity, he’s technically bisexual, and bisexuals are already granted legal protections.

    Why would anybody identify as ‘ex-gay’, other than to draw attention to the fact that he currently disapproves of all those other men who are sexually involved with other men?

  • Dick Mills

    “Us? We support banning workplace discrimination based on any sexuality. And that includes someone who believes he is ex-gay.”

    The thing about it is, though, that the ex-gays, straights, asexuals, everyone who can have a sexual orientation are already protected under the umbrella of sexual orientation.

    What the anti-gays are suggesting that, would be tantamount to enumerating every “protected” race in policies that prohibit discrimination based on race. Not only is it not necessary, but it has a sinister basis. As long as ALL races / creeds / national origins / sexual orientations are protected under anti-discrimination policies, and therefor the policies apply equally to every individual, the policies are perfectly valid and legal. When special accommodations are made for even just one “special” minority, then the law / policy can be challenged in court – and probably overturned.

    The anti-gays aren’t attempting to gain protections for themselves, because they already have it… they are attempting to eliminate anti-discrimination protections for everyone.

  • alan brickman

    Ex gays are just “gays in waiting”….Congrats to Disney!!

  • Catttt

    Disney has long been ahead of the crowd in the equal rights department, giving benes to domestic partners more than a decade ago. This is just silly. this article is just silly.

  • WayneMPLS

    If they are “straight” now they are already protected under the anti-discrimination laws, or am I missing something?

  • DR

    The “ex-gay” movement is a political movement designed not to seek protections under the law, but to go to court and claim that the homosexual activists are out to get them. They want to try and get protections to legitimize their scientifically disproven reparative therapy and force it upon everyone else.

Comments are closed.