Specialty Spirits LLC, the liquor company that distributes an energy drink called Gay Fuel, on Monday was found in default of a contract to sponsor Gay Days at Disneyland. A Beverly Hills judge found in favor of the organizers of the Gay Days at Disneyland in a small-claims lawsuit against Specialty Spirits for failure to pay for its "premiere sponsorship." The sponsorship granted the Gay Fuel brand high visibility at the Gay Days events in October at the Disneyland theme parks in Anaheim, Calif.
"It's disappointing that after fulfilling all our obligations with Gay Fuel, even giving them a great deal on their sponsorship, that they would blatantly breach their contract," Gay Days organizers said in a statement to Advocate.com.
Specialty Spirits, which knew of the lawsuit and the court date but sent no one to represent the company before the judge, issued only a short statement. The company "will not comment on the merits of the Gay Days case, and has no comment at this time with regard to [this] story," said Specialty's legal counsel, Tracy Wells, in an e-mail to Advocate.com.
Specialty Spirits was to have paid for the sponsorship on or before May 31, 2004, according to the lawsuit. The judge ruled that the distributors of Gay Fuel were responsible for the full amount due plus Gay Days's court costs.
Gay Days organizers noted that after receiving a legal summons to appear in court, Gay Fuel did send over a check for the amount due, but the check would not clear and was not replaced after repeated requests. Organizers added that the grassroots event did not turn a profit, so sponsorships were vital in producing many of the weekend's activities.
Other sponsors of the event included Tylenol PM, Here TV, Alaska Airlines, and Motorola. Gay Days at Disneyland is held annually the first weekend in October.