Disney Among Companies Accused of Going to 'War' on Christianity

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 1:15 AM

When Georgia'south legislature passed the Free Exercise Protection Act (H. B. seven hundred fifty-seven), legislation that'd have allowed local businesses to refuse to allow services to people whose lifestyles offended their religious sensibilities, an overwhelming no of voices from the world of business and entertainment converged to pressure Republican Gov.

Disney Among Companies Accused of Going to 'War' on Christianity

In the wake of their successful lobbying effort to beat a controversial religious freedom bill in Georgia, Disney and several other like-minded companies are getting called out by a conservative organization called TX Values for allegedly going to "war" on Christianity.

When Georgia'south legislature passed the Free Exercise Protection Act (H. B. seven hundred fifty-seven), legislation that'd have allowed local businesses to refuse to allow services to people whose lifestyles offended their religious sensibilities, an overwhelming no of voices from the world of business and entertainment converged to pressure Republican Gov. Nathan Deal to reject the bill, which he eventually did on Monday.

"It'south striking that the day after Easter, churches in GA are told their freedoms aren't that necessary to protect. It'south clear that corporate giants love Apple, Disney, NCAA, Intel have finally arrive out of the closet and declared public war on the religious freedom of clergy and religious schools, as was the protection in Georgia'south very modest HB seven hundred fifty-seven that they worked to bring down," wrote TX Values president Jonathan Saenz in a statement this week.

He added later: "Will Disney presently ban you from wearing a cross exterior your shirt at their parks? Will a Catholic priest be forced to delete his white collar when he takes a picture with Mickey Mouse? This is how extreme the attacks presently are on religious freedom, it'south a zero tolerance policy for religious freedom."

MSNBC reached out to Disney for a reaction to TX Values' allegations, but hasn't heard back at this time.

"It'south just misleading for any organization to propose HB seven hundred fifty-seven, in its final form, had any purpose other than to advance discrimination against LGBT people. Religious freedom is protected below the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, and number one is trying to modify that," Dan Rafter, a spokesman for the homosexual rights organization Freedom For All Americans, told MSNBC on Thursday.

Disney'south role in the effort was particularly significant, since many of the Marvel superhero films they produce are shot within Georgia'south borders (including the upcoming "Captain America: Civil War" and "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. two") and the company itself has a reputation of promoting traditional, and some would argue, conservative values in much of their creative output.

Still, Disney does have a fairly positive track record when it comes to issues of LGBT equality. They provided health benefits for the same-sex partners of employees way back in one thousand nine hundred ninety-fifth, they've also hosted unofficial "Gay Days" celebrations at their theme parks for years, and the president of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, George Kalogridis, is openly gay. Also, some critics have suggested that a no of their animated films, including "Frozen," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Aladdin," all feature subtle nods to LGBT equality. Yet, in the two thousand twelve election cycle for instance, Disney disproportionately made millions in donations (according to the Orlando Sentinel "90 cents of every dollar") to Republican campaigns and causes. In contrast, however, Congressional Democrats got the bulk of Disney'south largess in two thousand-fourteenth, according to OpenSecrets. org.

Meanwhile, the company'south late founder Walt Disney has become notorious for his distant right, even reactionary politics (and rumors of anti-Semitic and racist proclivities). The cultural insensitivity of earlier Disney films (which included homophobic portrayals of cartoon characters) is well documented. And yet the company has arrive a long way in recent decades, as evidenced by their vocal role in opposing anti-gay legislation.

"Disney is one of the hundreds of companies that recognized HB seven hundred fifty-seven would damage LGBT Georgians and many others. Religious freedom is just as protected below the law today as it was yesterday, latest mo and latest year. It'south not below attack," said Rafter. "What HB seven hundred fifty-seven would've done, however, is expose the hundreds of thousands of LGBT Georgians — who already lack any statewide nondiscrimination protections — to even more harm."

This legend originally appeared on msnbc. com.

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