Tax dollars used to make SC ‘So Gay’ - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2008, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Tax dollars used to make SC ‘So Gay’


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.

But Kirsty Dillury, a spokesperson for South Carolina Tourism, called the “So Gay” campaign an important one.

“South Carolina has a lot to offer gay travelers, and we think that people may be surprised to see our destination reaching out to the gay market,” Dillury said in a June 27 press release. “We are delighted to be involved with the ‘So Gay’ campaign in particular as it sends a powerful positive message to everyone that there is nothing wrong at all with a destination being described as ’so gay.’”

Dillury continued, “For our gay visitors it is actually quite wonderful for them to discover just how much South Carolina has to offer — from stunning plantation homes to miles of wide sandy beaches.”

That press release noted that the gay travel agency Amro Worldwide “received the funding and support” from South Carolina to help with the campaign.

In an effort to confirm the amount of money given to the project, The Palmetto Scoop contacted Dillury, who redirected questions to Marion Edmonds, Director of Communications for PRT. Repeated attempts to contact Edmonds over the last week, including a Freedom of Information Act request sent this morning, yielded no results.

SCPRT received $13.7 million in this year’s budget for the purposes of advertising, $10.5 million of which came directly from South Carolina taxpayers.

Out Now’s CEO Ian Johnson said the effort is an attempt to make homosexuals more comfortable about being gay.

“For all people seeing this campaign it is important to know that using ’so gay’ as a putdown is far from clever in the eyes of lesbian and gay people,” Johnson said. “We wanted to reclaim that for the gay community. It is really about standing up and saying: You say: ’So gay’? Then I say: ’So what!’”

Dr. Oran P. Smith, President of Palmetto Family Council, disagrees.

Said Smith, “If the story is factual, and it appears that it is, the taxpayers of South Carolina are unwittingly funding one side of the culture war. State tourism dollars shouldn’t be used to fund what is in essence a political agenda.”

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2008, 09:29 AM
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This might explain why benz rider has an 'attraction' to Jody...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2008, 10:36 AM
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Reminds me of the debate recently in Santa Fe where the three contenders were vying for elected office. The most conservative one immediately lashed out at the one gay one for choosing that lifestyle, which of course had not been brought up or revealed. The attack man was booed until he shut up about it. He was then ridiculed in the press the next day/week. He was the underdog and he lost all chance at contention after that. Nice. It is about time this sexuality thing is brought into a more complete perspective.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2008, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
This might explain why benz rider has an 'attraction' to Jody...
Could explain a lot about Benz Rider. I may be living in SC. but I don't really think I'm his ideal of a gay mate. 1. not male, 2. not gay, 3. I'd have to kick his ass on a daily basis (scratch that , he'd come to SC. just for that).

If this is a fact, it kind of pisses me off. With the school situation and low wages down here I find it a bit troubling. Not that I don't support gay rights but not at the cost of tax money going for something other than education in this state. There are a lot more pressing issues than SC being the gay state.

I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.

Last edited by Jody; 07-12-2008 at 12:32 PM.
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