By Adam Fogle | July 10, 2008 - 2:51 pm
This may come as a surprise to many South Carolinians, but your tax dollars are being used to target gay travelers from across the pond.
The Palmetto Scoop has learned that the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism — a state agency overseen by the Gov. Mark Sanford’s office — is spending an undisclosed amount of its nearly $14 million advertising budget to take part in the “So Gay” campaign, an effort launched in London, England, by the gay marketing agency “Out Now” to lure homosexual tourists to South Carolina and five U.S. cities.
Out Now is dubbing it “the gayest ever mainstream media advertising campaign” in London.
“South Carolinians will be irate when they learn their hard earned tax dollars are being spent to advertise our state as ’so gay,’” Sen. David Thomas (R-Greenville) told The Palmetto Scoop. “South Carolina is a wonderful, family friendly destination not a Southern version of San Francisco. This campaign goes against our core values.”
Thomas said he would be calling for a comprehensive audit of PRT, an agency in the governor’s cabinet.
State Rep. Greg Delleney (R-Chester), echoed Thomas’ concerns, citing questions over “whether or not the governor or anyone in charge at PRT authorized this expenditure.”
“It’s simply unbelievable that PRT would be using our tax money to promote the homosexual lifestyle,” said Delleney.
Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer could not be reached for comment.
For the full story click on the link above.
This is one of the reasons I fight for gay marriage. It is not just for the right to be married as equals to our neighbors, it's a step in the direction of realizing that we ARE equals, and deserving of the respect our actions and intents afford us. Rep. Delleney's remarks show true bigotry, using the word "homosexuals" in reference to the GLBT community. The discrimination we suffer goes well past any form of free speech, leaving us with a government where South Carolina's representatives don't even have the common sense to see us as worthy tourists. I'm not sure what type of trouble they expect GLBT people to cause while leaving their tourist money there, it seems more that the irrational fear factor has taken over once again, leaving us with social policies made off emotion rather than logic.
People are denied jobs, housing, services, they are even harassed, beaten, and murdered all because of their sexuality. Where is the public good that comes of this behavior? This is why I fight for gay marriage. It is only by the government's impartiality on this matter that the people who feel threatened by diversity will challenge themselves to look at their neighbor as other than a stereotype. One such line in the sand we can draw is the right to marry whom you love and have your relationship recognized by our government as equal to other people's relationship. We all are deserving of the protections promised us by the Constitution regardless of our differences, and those who say otherwise are doing so to promote their own agenda, and not justice.
I could easily turn around and say that I don't want my tax dollars going to promote heterosexual tourism, but how strange would that sound? When you try to take the same argument and put it into another perspective it becomes clear this is just another fine example of bigotry, and how far we have yet to go.