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Thursday, January 14, 2010
By Bob Unruh
Shareholders of the Walt Disney Co. will be asked at their coming 2010 annual meeting to consider expanding the corporation's antidiscrimination policies to provide protections to ex-"gays" as well as homosexuals.
The plan came about after the Securities and Exchange Commission said it would not agree with company arguments that officials arbitrarily should veto a shareholder's proposal and prevent the issue from being discussed.
"Like many corporations, Disney implements mandatory diversity training for employees that emphasizes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders, but fails to include ex-gays," said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gay. "It is a serious omission both for the ex-gay community and their supporters."
The organization became aware of the issue after being contacted by a Disney shareholder. Griggs said homosexual activists aggressively have been opposing the request, since the acknowledgement that ex-gays exist undermines the argument that homosexuality is immutable and members need protection.
An attorney for PFOX told WND that Disney, in effect, has been ordered by the SEC to include the proposal among the issues on the table at its 2010 annual meeting March 10 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country in
The corporation's management may recommend a shareholder vote against the proposal, but it still must be discussed, the attorney said.
Multiple WND calls and e-mails to Disney did not generate a response, but Griggs said in a statement the issue of nondiscrimination is important:
"Employees who support the ex-gay community are not welcome to express their views and fear they would be forced to undergo sensitivity training because they support former homosexuals," said Griggs. "Ex-gays are forced to remain closeted because they are not protected by diversity policies and are subjected to open disapproval by others in the workplace. The inclusion of ex-gays will cost Disney nothing to implement and would provide true diversity and respect in the workplace."
She noted the resolution cites a recent court opinion from the Superior Court of the
The court in that precedent-setting case ruled standard nondiscrimination protections now being provided to homosexuals also must be given to people who choose to leave the lifestyle.
"Disney should treat ex-gays and their friends with the respect they deserve," said Bobbie Strobhar, the stockholder who submitted the shareholder resolution. "We need more of these resolutions nationwide to assure tolerance and safety in the workplace for the ex-gay community and their supporters."
Griggs emphasized the significance of such proposals. Because a bedrock assumption made by homosexual activists is that they cannot change their lifestyle, they claim the need for special protections as minorities. Griggs said the acknowledgement that ex-"gays" even exist undermines the entire platform on which homosexual activism is built, since it then becomes just another lifestyle choice.
Griggs' organization had been integral in the D.C. court ruling. It had filed a complaint against the National Education Association for refusing to provide public accommodations to ex-"gays." The resulting ruling from the court is that ex-"gays" are "a protected class under 'sexual orientation.'"
At the time, Greg Quinlan, a director for PFOX, said it was about time that all sexual orientation laws and programs nationwide provide "true diversity and equality."
"I have experienced more personal assaults as a former homosexual than I ever did as a gay man," he said.
In Disney's case, corporate officials had argued to the SEC that they should be allowed to simply ignore the shareholder proposal.
But the SEC said, "We are unable to concur in your view that Disney may exclude the proposal …. It appears that the proposal seeks to amend the scope of Disney's equal employment opportunity policy. We disagree that it is impracticable for shareholders to consider requested changes."
"Formerly gay men and women are reviled simply because they dare to exist," the shareholder proposal said. "Ex-gays and their supporters are subject to an increasingly hostile environment because they live out or support a different view of homosexuality. They remain closeted because of other's negative reactions or disapproval. Ex-gay employees are uncomfortable being open about their sexual orientation with their colleagues because they fear discrimination or unfair treatment in the workplace."
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Walt Disney Company
Posted by PFOX at 12:06 PM