Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl D. Metcalfe
Everyone loves a vacation, and if marketing information is any indication, the gay community is quite the sizable travel market. In today’s economy it makes good fiscal sense for cities to try to attract gay and lesbian travelers, which is why two Philadelphia groups, the Equality Forum and Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing, are marketing directly to LGBT tourists.
The campaign uses the slogan, “Get your history straight and your nightlife gay.” Pretty clever, I’d say. Philadelphia also touts itself as “the city that loves you back.” Aw, shucks.
But Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl D. Metcalfe isn’t pleased. He wants to put a stop to the campaign right quick, vowing to block tax dollars used to “promote immoral behaviors.”
By the way Metcalfe is reacting you’d think the state was using taxpayer money to bus LGBT folks in for group sex at the Capitol.
Truth be told, the campaign is funded largely by a hotel tax that funds Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing. It seems like a pretty good system. After all, hotels don’t usually do well unless there are people to stay in them. But I’m no economist.
“We should not ask constituents to fund behavior that is against their religious and moral beliefs,” Metcalfe said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He added that his constituents “would object to even $1 of their tax dollars” being used to promote a “gay and lesbian lifestyle.”
As if previously straight folks are flocking to Philly to “try it out.” Perhaps someone should sit down with Metcalfe and explain to him that LGBT people are born that way, not made that way by glossy direct marketing campaigns.
I give props to the city for recognizing that progressive, forward-thinking locals that embrace LGBT people are places that appeal to tourists, gay and straight. Westboro, Kansas, for example, is not a hot vacation spot.
You’d think Metcalfe should be well aware of this seeing as he sits on the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee and is the chairman of the Arts and Entertainment subcommittee.
I wonder if Metcalfe was rocking out at the free concert Elton John did for HIV/AIDS awareness on the Fourth of July this year?
If you’re thinking of getting away this summer, perhaps it’s high time you went to check out the Liberty Bell. Heck, wear a Ben Franklin wig while you’re at it.
In fact, while you’re there, why not give Metcalfe a ring at 717-783-1707 or 724-772-3110 and let him know you’re in the neighborhood.