Monday, April 17, 2006

Wisconsin Now 80% Less Fabulous

A story appeared today that is so ridiculous, it's hard to believe anyone actually read it before giving it the green light. In this Tom Sheehan article, Governor Doyle's Secretary of Tourism actually makes the argument that the tourism industry will suffer in Wisconsin if we pass the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. In fact, all the article accomplishes is that it demonstrates a need to drug test Doyle's cabinet secretaries.

From the article:

While tourism officials don’t often jump into thorny political battles, the proposed taxpayer protection amendment and a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage could crimp tourism, Holperin said...

The industry is in the early stages of assessing possible fallout from a gay marriage ban, said Deb Archer, chairwoman of the governor’s council and president and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The amendment could send the message that Wisconsin is not a welcoming state, Archer said. She said Arizona faced boycotts after eliminating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday from the list of official state holidays a few years ago.

The gay marriage amendment could be troublesome for Wisconsin attractions hoping to appeal to people of many different backgrounds, especially from the Chicago area, Holperin said.“We’re dealing in symbolism as much as anything here. ... In the larger sense, it says something about how welcoming our state is,” Holperin said.

The best thing for the tourism industry might be if Wisconsin voters buck the national trend and defeat the gay marriage ban, Holperin said.
Was Holperin being held hostage by the Gay Mafia when he made those comments? Being held in the basement of The Cardinal Bar, being forced to live only on water and tiramisu?

So tour groups and conventions are going to shun Wisconsin because we want to pass a constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage which... is... already... illegal in Wisconsin? Are they instead going to take a stand and schedule their big conventions in the other 48 states where gay marriage is also illegal (isn't it legal in Vermont?) I anxiously look forward to the NRA moving their 2006 convention out of Milwaukee because their membership demands more Pet Shop Boys memorabilia.

This is why the comparison to Arizona refusing to pass Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is so objectionable. At the time, Arizona was the last state to refuse to honor the civil rights giant, so boycotts from people of all races was justifiable. In this case, if you protest Wisconsin, where are you going to go? To such forward thinking places as Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, or every other state that doesn't recognize gay marriage?

And I'm sorry, as much as the gay groups like to try to tie their case for civil rights to the plight of blacks, there isn't any comparison in any way. African Americans are still struggling to overcome years of institutionalized slavery, yet gays and lesbians think they are entitled to ride the same "grievance train" because of where their genitals occasionally end up. I am anxious to visit the crime-ridden gay ghettos where people break into their own neighbors' apartments to steal their divine Baked Alaska recipies.

Of course, this is all conjecture by gay marriage supporters. No statistics are offered, no evidence, nothing. They couldn't even manufacture a gay couple from Illinois to say that they won't come to Wisconsin because of the ban. Every state that has enacted some kind of gay marriage ban is doing just fine, tourism-wise. I doubt if Sheehan even considered asking for any kind of hard evidence, lest it ruin his ridiculous story.

In Sheehan's next story, we'll learn how a partial birth abortion ban will hurt tourism, as it will keep women in the process of delivering a child from visiting Wisconsin to have their half-born infant killed. Generally, these types of women spend a lot of money at local Subways and gift shops.