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Disney No-Fly Zones Survive Challenge

Federal Judge Upholds Congressional Mandate

It's one of those strange bedfellow arrangements you can only find in the American judicial system. A group of conservative Christians and the sponsors of Gay Days - an annual event held at Disney's two theme parks in Florida and California - have been denied a federal court petition to lift the restricted designation from airspace over Disney World (FL).

The Disney no-fly zones were created "under the radar," with unwavering support from Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Richard Shelby (R-AL). Language creating the zones - without any accompanying request from the FAA, the TSA or the Department of Homeland Security - amounted to 65 words in a 3000 page bill passed recently by both houses of Congress. None of those 65 words was "Disney" (ANN: May 13 2003 - "What Kind Of Mickey Mouse Procedure Is This?")

Same Goal For Different Reasons

Gay Days is an annual event at Disney World, attracting more than 100,000 homosexuals. Sponsors of the event want to tow banners over the park with messages like, "gaydays.com" and "The Girls At Gay Days."

"I don't believe the no-fly zone should be there," said Chris Alexander Manley, director of marketing for Gay Days, Inc. "There was one group that was planning to fly a banner welcoming everybody."

The Family Policy Network of Virginia also wants to fly banners over Disney World, albeit with a much different message: "Jesus Christ: Hope for Homosexuals.com." Under the current restrictions, instituted March 18, 2003, no aircraft - except those taking off or landing at nearby airports - can fly below 3000 ft. within three miles of the park.

Disney opposed lifting the bans over both Disney World and Disneyland (CA). In Friday's decision, federal judge Anne C. Conway denied the Family Policy Network's request for a restraining order against the no-fly zones. "We pursued the FAA restriction for the safety and enjoyment of our guests and believe this extra layer of protection is in the best interest of those who visit and work at Walt Disney World Resort," spokeswoman Rena Callahan said.

FMI: www.virginiafamily.com, www.gaydays.com, Disney World

 


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