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  1. #1

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    An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    taken from advocate.com
    September 26th, 2007

    The Walt Disney Co. is issuing a formal apology to a San Diego man for an incident at Disneyland that the company claims was a misunderstanding but which the man asserts was antigay bias.

    Wil Kenney claims he was targeted and harassed by Disneyland security -- as well as roughed up by Anaheim, Calif., police -- because a Disney staff member overreacted to Kenney's holding another man's hand.

    According to Kenney, he and his partner -- along with two other same-sex couples and their children -- were walking through the theme park's Downtown Disney area on Saturday when Disney security detained them. Security claimed Kenney had threatened someone with a gun, which Kenney denied. Anaheim officers were called to the scene and, according to Kenney, forced him face-first into a wall and then frisked, searched, and interrogated him in front of hundreds of Disney guests. According to Kenney, officers left the scene after finding no weapons on anyone in his party. Kenney says he may have been targeted by police because a Disney employee grew nervous seeing Kenney holding hands with his partner, which he believes then led to the chain reaction of events.

    Rob Doughty, vice president of communications for Disneyland, says the whole incident was a misunderstanding that had nothing to do with Kenney's sexuality. Doughty claims Kenney made a hand gesture that a Disney crew member interpreted as threatening. Doughty says security came over and detained Kenney and his group, who grew angry, and that police were then called to the scene. "He made his hand look like a gun," Doughty says. "Someone interpreted that as a gun."

    One of Kenney's friends at Disneyland was Brian van de Mark, the owner of a communications and marketing firm that focuses on social justice issues. Van de Mark is serving as Kenney's media representative, and he says there was no threatening hand gesture. Van de Mark says that after the police left the scene, Kenney and his group demanded a meeting with Disney security manager Deana Van Noy. At that meeting, according to Van de Mark, Van Noy told the group that she "could not remember whether the cast member [who contacted Disney security] said she was threatened, felt threatened, or was offended," and that she then added, "It doesn't make a difference anyway."

    Doughty could not confirm that Van Noy used those words. Doughty, who is head of Disney's employee gay group, says Disney staff were not even aware Kenney was gay until two hours after the incident.

    "Our policy is, everyone is welcome," Doughty says. "If a same-sex couple wants to hold hands at our park, that's fine."

    Doughty says the apology was being issued for the misunderstanding over the hand gesture and denies that a homophobic employee started the whole scuffle. "I can assure you, this is a company that would not tolerate that behavior from a cast member," he says. "We're a very welcoming company."

    But Van de Mark claims that Van Noy refused to apologize to the group, and that after the meeting plainclothes Disney security followed them around the park. According to Van de Mark, the group patronized a Disney store, where a Disney employee asked how their day was. When they answered that it had not gone well because they had been harassed by security personnel, Van de Mark said the crew member told them, "Well, in fact, you're still being followed," and pointed to plainclothes security officers in their midst.

    When reached for comment, Anaheim police sergeant Rick Martinez also denied the incident had anything to do with the guests being gay. When asked whether Kenney was pushed against a wall and frisked, Martinez said, "I would define it as 'detained.' [Kenney and his group] might have been frisked." (The Advocate)

    WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS STORY? MY OPINION IT COULD HAVE BEEN A MISUNDERSTANDING YOU KNOW THAT PEOPLE WILL USE ANYTHING TO GET WHAT THEY WANT. DISNEY IS VERY DIVERSE AND I DON'T THINK THAT A DISNEY EMPLOYEE WOULD DO SUCH A THING CAUSE THEY ARE TOLD WHEN THEY ARE HIRED, NEVER TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST, RACE, SEX, GENDER, AND ORIENTATION. BUT I DO KNOW THAT SECURITY AT THE DISNEYLAND RESORT CAN BE BIASED AS IVE HEARD ONE OF THEM BEFORE WHEN I WAS WORKING THERE TALKING ABOUT GAYS IN THE MILITARY. ITS SAD TO SEE THESE THINGS HAPPEN AND TO THINK THAT GAY DAYS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER! DON'T THEY REALIZE THAT THEY HAVE GAYS WORKING IN THEIR OWN COMPANY? COME ON PEOPLE GET WITH THE PROGRAM! WHATS YOUR OPINION???

  2. #2

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    I think this guy is making a big deal out of himself being gay, so he can come back and sue Disney. Other people do it all the time on the basis of race...Disney did (blank) because I'm (blank) Never mind the guy was probably uncooperative and and acting like a jerk, suddenly it's ok because you are a member of some minortiy group. It's all rubbish in my opinion.
    Last edited by TrojanSkippa; 09-29-2007 at 09:59 AM.
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    He was detained because he was making a gun gesture. Sketchy, I mean come on every makes gun gestures, even at Disneyland.

  4. #4

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarthDucky View Post
    He was detained because he was making a gun gesture. Sketchy, I mean come on every makes gun gestures, even at Disneyland.
    In an area with thousands of people...what an idiotic thing to do. Who was he making the gun gstures at? Security? That's certainly a brilliant thing to do. A person is making gun guestures in an area which is filled with tourists and is on several terrorist hit lists, he gets called on it... probably got all huffy about it, started mouthing off and deservedly ended up face first against a wall.
    Last edited by TrojanSkippa; 09-29-2007 at 10:58 PM.
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanSkippa View Post
    In an area with thousdnads of people...what an idiotic thing to do. Who was he making the gun gstures at? Security? That's certainly a brilliant thing to do. A person is making gun guestures in an area which is filled with tourists and is on several terrorist hit lists, he gets called on it... probably got all huffy about it, started mouthing off and deservedly ended up face first against a wall.
    But we don't know these things. But it is hard to think that he was detained for being gay or for making a gun gesture.
    Last edited by DarthDucky; 09-29-2007 at 10:32 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    I'm sure Disney security sees same sex couples holding hands all the time. Why would they freak out seeing him do it.
    Mike



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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    They must call in the riot squad on Gay Days.

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    Lightbulb Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoogaFrito View Post
    They must call in the riot squad on Gay Days.
    Yep! Get the leather whips out!

    But really, none of us were there when everything happened... so it's so hard to say exactly what went on before and after security came. I hope it had nothing to do with him being gay, and if he did make a gun with his hand or some joke about it, then he's an idiot and that's what will happen (in any large public place). If you went to an airport and did that you'd be sitting in jail right now.

    I'm glad Disney security is alert and all over the resort (plain and costumed) and that's why I'll continue to feel very safe there.
    Last edited by Wesley815; 09-29-2007 at 01:11 PM.
    -Wes

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Disney is one of the most "gay" firendly companies in the world. I would bet dimes to dollars that this incident had NOTHING to do with the fact that the guest was gay. It was a misunderstanding I am sure, and an apology is due, but there is no reason to bring sexuality into this. By doing so the party in question is setting the movement back several years. I don't understand how an individual can claim they are just like everyone else, and then jump up and down and throw a fit when something happens that could have happened to anyone else, claiming it's because they are different. It doesn't sit right with me. And just in case it comes up, I am a memeber of the GLBT community and I am almost disgusted that they are turning that into a "gay" issue.

  10. #10

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    That's right. NONE of us were there. We can only assume, and you know what assuming something means.

    But if the subject in question made a gun gesture with his hand, he should have been questioned and searched if the authorities at the scene felt that it was necessary for the safety of all involved.

    Gay or not...

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    How come I'm doubting that a Cast Member would point to the plainclothes people? I dunno, that seems very... not-Cast-member like...

    I don't think it had to do with his being gay. He's using it as an excuse, and that's just not okay. If he wants to be treated as everyone else, he can't use his gender preference as an excuse.

    I'm pretty sure that if Disney did all that, they had reason to. And if the didn't, they should make a formal apology... which they are. So everything is being settled. And he was probably being a jerk. (Not proven, but he sounds like a jerk).

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMickey View Post
    That's right. NONE of us were there. We can only assume, and you know what assuming something means.

    But if the subject in question made a gun gesture with his hand, he should have been questioned and searched if the authorities at the scene felt that it was necessary for the safety of all involved.

    Gay or not...
    There's a certain demeanor you are supposed to assume with law enforcement personnel, judges, teachers, anyone in security etc....

    Maybe today's society isn't very respectful of anybody. Nevertheless, if I were approached by law enforcement for any reason.....even if I felt it were unwarranted......I would be on my best behavior.

    They aren't the people to mouth-off to, or play games with.

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Why was security following them around after? thats strange!
    Har har har

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    Exclamation Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by garbear View Post
    Why was security following them around after? thats strange!
    Again, since none of us actually know "Disney's side" of the story, there is no way to understand what went on. Plus as someone else said- I also find it very hard to believe that a stores CM would tell a guest who the plain cloths security gaurd is.

    There's got to be more to this story then what is reported, IMO.
    -Wes

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    Re: An Antigay Incident at Disneyland?

    Is making your hand look like a gun some sort of a gay thing?

    He's lucky they didn't tase him.

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