sexual minorities

Why Do Ex-Gays Want Disney to Protect Them on the Job?


We thought the Virgina-based Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) was going to be thrilled when a judge granted them recognition as a sexual orientation because of ex-gays’ sexual “practices” and “preferences.” But then PFOX went and lobbied against federal hate crimes legislation, which in theory would have added new protections even for those vilified ex-gays. So why is PFOX now demanding Disney add ex-gays to its list of protected classes?

“Concerned Disney stockholders have submitted a shareholder resolution asking the Walt Disney Company to include the prohibition of discrimination based on ex-gay status in its sexual orientation policy and diversity training programs,” reads a PFOX release, which adds: “Disney’s exclusion of ex-gays from its sexual orientation policy and programs reinforces the second-class status of ex-gays, and contributes to the negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals.”

We’re perfectly fine with ex-gays having their own movement and organization and whatever. We’re even fine with them lobbying a corporate giant for workplace protections. Who are we to judge?

But if PFOX were really angling to protect sexual minorities from discrimination, they would, uh, do that.

(NB: Also, we’re curious why PFOX is just going after Disney and not, say ExxonMobil, which for years has refused to recognize its employees’ gay partnerships? Is it because Disney lets the gays take over its theme parks every year?)

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  • Dick Mills

    When PFUX manages to get 20,000 attendees for an Anti-Gay-Day at Disney World, then Disney might take them seriously – of course, it would have to be “unofficial” because Disney would never put it’s name on such a hateful event. Disney will also never take them seriously unless they start to take themselves seriously; which it’s pretty obvious that they aren’t serious about “needing” protection, they are just attempting to push their anti-gay political agenda.

  • Bill

    PFOX is doing it so when they are denied they can then force Disney to pull funding and recognition of the GLBT groups saying if ex-gays can’t have funding then the gays can’t. It is their new tactic.

  • Rick

    Um, aren’t ex-gays just straight folks? So, who’s going to discriminate against them???

  • rudy

    Another conservative fraud.

  • Joe Moore

    These people are lunatics. Rick is right…aren’t ex-gays straight? What discrimination are they getting?

    Seriously, that’s what happens when you repress your true self. The rest of your mental abilities go right out the window.

  • Jon B

    @Bill: It’s a bit more duplicitous than just trying to get Disney, or anyone else, to pull funding for LGBT causes/groups. What they are now trying to do is get recognition, in much the same way that we try to get recognition. Once they can amass enough instances of being taken seriously as a group, and being recognized as a valid orientation, they will use that recognition against LGBT folks in court cases dealing with the Equal Protection Clause, which is likely our best argument for equality. Under current precedent, in order for a group to attain suspect class status, the class must be defined by an immutable, or unchangable, characteristic. If anti-gay groups can point to enough instances where people have taken ex-gays seriously, it will help to overcome scientific opinion that sexuality cannot be changed, and they will be on better ground to have a case decided under rational basis scrutiny.

  • Sapphocrat

    @Jon B: “Under current precedent, in order for a group to attain suspect class status, the class must be defined by an immutable, or unchangable, characteristic.”

    I see what you’re saying, but they’ll never be able to prove “ex-gay”ness is immutable/unchangeable, as their entire sham is based on the idea that “gays can change.”

    Of course, they don’t recognize their own doublethink. And they will gnash their teeth and rend their garments when they finally realize they can’t have it both ways — but they’re too stupid to understand why.

    On the other hand, religionists are a protected class, and religion is hardly an immutable, unchangeable characteristic. (Although I don’t know if religionists are protected as a suspect class in the same way ethnic and racial minorities are.)

    But if we stick strictly to the “immutable, unchangeable” criterion set for protection on the basis of sexual orientation, the “ex-gays” don’t have a leg to stand on, as long as they continue to insist that a person’s sexual orientation can change (or be changed).

  • Jon B

    @Sapphocrat: “they’ll never be able to prove “ex-gay”ness is immutable/unchangeable, as their entire sham is based on the idea that “gays can change.””

    Exactly… If ex-gays become taken seriously, it goes against our argument that sexuality is an immutible, inborn, unchangeable characteristic. They are doing these things not for their own rights, but to hinder the advancement of ours.

  • Daniel

    An ex-gay isn’t really no longer gay. If they were, they would be called heterosexuals or bisexuals or asexuals. An “Ex-gay” is just some mentally-ill idiot (remember a certain percentage of the population – gay, bi, and straight people – are literally insane) being played by rightwing groups for political purposes.

  • Daniel

    I think so called “ex-gay” people should wear t-shirts that say “caution! at any moment, I might started sucking c*ck again and again and again…” LOL

  • Grey

    Of course, “ex-gay” is already covered under sexual orientation, which covers ALL sexual orientations (including those who are nonsexual), and probably also protected under the “religion” portion of their anti-discrimination policy. But what they really want is “ex-gay” recognized as legitimate, because that would help suggest that gays can change their orientation — and therefore it isn’t an immutable characteristic worthy of protection. (Unlike … religion?) Kind of a Catch 22.

    Disney should call their bluff and ask them to produce a real ex-gay who can prove they were discriminated against by the Disney Corporation specifically because of their alleged ex-gay orientation.

  • Jack

    This is a huge political ploy from religious groups to politicize a group of people they have victimized. According to the American Psychiatric Association anti-gay therapy damages significantly more people than they help.

    It is more harmful to recognize or protect them as a class of people.

    The resolution further states that the APA “urges all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientation.”

  • deb

    this is a very sneaky and roundabout way to go about discrediting the validity of peoples sexual orientation. But I don’t know, I think that sexuality is a fluid thing, but for some people more fluid than others. Has a genetic link been found yet? I don’t know that either. But I do know that in my family, i was having same sex feelings BEFORE i knew that my second cousin was transsexual and that my aunt was a lesbian. so i was not recruited by family. I was raised to believe it was an aberration by my immediate family and my church. When I had my first same sex encounter i was ‘rehabilitated’ by the church and allowed it out of an understandable desire to belong in a world that was all i knew. The feelings didn’t go away, but i could live with it because i didn’t want to rock the boat. Now I’m completely out of that church scene, altho i still believe in God, just not the hateful, vengeful one that so many people believe is supporting their cause (and theirs alone of course, coz God told me so!) But i always felt kinda like a fake in that world. and i was. i was pretending i was something i wasn’t. straight.
    So when I was pretending to be all ‘straightened out’ i was against the ‘gay agenda’ out of needing to be accepted by the church (which is of course a far more vain desire than the desire to be accepted by God) so i would say that these people, if they were truely gay to begin with, are just trying to gain acceptance by discriminating against one group that they belong to, to be accepted by another group they belong to… that constantly seem to be mutually exclusive…but only according to popular interpretation.

  • Moxy Vote

    Individuals can use Moxy Vote’s new site at to voice their opinion on this, and all other, proxy ballots. This site allows investors to join like-minded groups who have informed opinions on proxy ballots (like Humane Society, Investors Agaist Genoide, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, etc.) By then affiliating their brokerage account to the site, the individual’s shares will be voted automatically….which reduces the concern about missing an important ballot question like this one.

    Moxy Vote is a neutral platform and has the Corporate Morality Action Center as an advocate on the site. This organization is supporting PFOX’s resolution and is encouraging members to vote in favor of the resolution.

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