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Disney offers 'ceremonies' for gay couples

April 7, 2007 at 7:28 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., April 7 (UPI) -- Same-sex couples can now cement their relationships with commitment ceremonies at Disney resorts in California and Florida.

They can't actually get married, since neither state recognizes same-sex marriages. But the updated Disney policy -- which also applies to its cruise ships -- welcomes commitment ceremonies at all facilities where heterosexual couples can tie the knot, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

"Bottom line, our business is all about hospitality," Donn Walker, spokesman for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, told the newspaper. "Our commitment at Disney is to welcome all guests in an inclusive environment and to make them feel respected. We think this is consistent with that long-standing policy."

Disney offers wedding packages that start at just under $3,000 and climb upward, with the average couple spending $28,000. The pricier packages can include using Cinderella's Coach or having Mickey Mouse at the reception.

The Rev. Steve Smith of First Baptist Church and the Rev. Joel Hunter of Northland, A Church Distributed told the newspaper they were disappointed but not surprised or outraged.

"At the end of the day, they're in business to make money. This is an untapped market for them, obviously," Smith said. "I'm not entirely surprised that Disney would make a fiduciary decision over a moral one."

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