“Gay Day” Judge Dead at 80

Those of you who enjoy a good Disney Gay Day may want to take a second to remember retired California Judge James Randal Ross.

The great grandson of outlaw Jesse James, Ross served on the Orange County Superior Court, from which he banished discrimination from the Magical Kingdom.

Of all the cases he handled, Ross was most proud of one involving Disneyland banning gays from dancing at the Anaheim amusement park, Eric James said.

Disneyland had imposed the ban in 1957, when dancing was first allowed. In 1980, a homosexual couple was kicked out of the park for dancing together. When the case made it to Ross’ court, he ruled in favor of the gay couple.

In July 1985, Disneyland lifted the 28-year-old ban.

With that lifting, the homos were free to frolic like fairies. It’s funny, though, because they can’t hold same-sex unions there. Wonder what Ross would have to say about that.

Unfortunately Ross’ career ended in censure after he refused to apologize for, among other things, sleeping on the job and telling a dirty joke in court. Sounds like our kind of man…

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  • truthy

    I was going to high school just a few miles from Disneyland at the time…it meant a lot. We salute you Judge Ross!

  • Crusader

    Judge Ross was way ahead of his time, that is for sure.

    Just a clarification on the article posted here, part of which is from the Associated Press. It was a JURY that ruled in favor of my case (Exler v. Disneyland). Judge Ross, however, did have to give his “final okay” on the verdict. He did a fantastic job during the trial of not letting Disneyland (with their three attorneys versus my one attorney) pull any crap; which they tried to do often.

    This 1984 trial was very stressful for everyone involved because the jury pool was politically conservative and it was the first time anyone legally challenged Disneyland’s policy prior to that trial. Judge Ross made everyone feel comfortable by telling jokes from the bench. I was just a 23 y.o. “kid” at the time, so I very much appreciated how Judge Ross handled the trial and put people at ease.

    (the activist formerly known as Andrew Exler)
    Palm Springs, CA

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