UPDATE: JUNE 13, 10:15 A.M.: Having worked with Disney last year, Jeff Flint of FSB Core Strategies called the Weekly this morning and offered a quote regarding the question of his Prop. 8 past.
“I have in fact publicly and privately disavowed my work on the Prop 8 campaign, and my desire to no longer be associated with that campaign and opposition to marriage equality was the primary reason I ended my business partnership with Frank Schubert,” Flint told the Weekly. “FSB Core Strategies is an LGBTQ-friendly firm in all aspects of our work and operations.”
As far as this infernal rag is aware, that’s the first press statement published on the issue and we’re more than happy to deliver it!
ORIGINAL POST: JUNE 13, 7:00 A.M.: These days, Disneyland is getting gay. The Happiest Place on Earth enjoys a reputation as a gay-friendly employer and a safe space for same-sex couples to enjoy the park, especially during unofficial “Gay Days” organized by Disney fans.
And the Mouse House is edging closer to embracing Pride as part of the magic.
During Pride month, the company is donating 10 percent of the profits from its Rainbow Disney Collection to GLSEN, a nonprofit fighting against LGBT bullying in schools. Disneyland Paris went a step further by hosting an official Magical Pride Parade this month, raising the notion that the Anaheim and Orlando parks will follow suit. It’s enough to ignite a flurry of anti-LGBT online petitions decrying Disney’s theme parks as no longer “family-friendly.”
But the Mouse is getting pelted by all sides. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) dinged Disney in an annual report for not having any openly LGBT characters in films released last year. And then there’s local Anaheim politics, where Disney’s recent record is a curious case. They bankrolled Jordan Brandman, Anaheim’s first openly gay city councilman, last year, but the Walt Disney Co. is also listed as a client of FSB Core Strategies, which is headed by Jeff Flint, the lobbyist behind returning the city to a Disney-friendly council majority.
In 2008, Flint served as campaign manager for “Yes on Prop. 8” alongside Frank Schubert, even telling the Los Angeles Times that year, “I think the ‘No on 8’ forces have devolved into mob justice.” Flint and Schubert’s efforts to ban same-sex marriage by ballot initiative proved victorious, but the pair split from their corporate PR firm amid whispers that Schubert’s anti-gay reputation scared away clients. In rebranding as FSB Core Strategies, Flint hasn’t publicly disavowed his Proposition 8 role. But the firm distanced itself from its past in assembling an impressive corporate clientele, including Disney, which filed an amicus brief challenging the proposition’s constitutionality alongside the Defense of Marriage Act.
So, is Disneyland the Gayest Place On Earth? Not yet!
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!