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Akron Trashes Gay Tourism Scheme

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Akron’s Tourism board nixed a plan to market the Ohio city as “gay friendly”.

According to WKSU’s Amanda Robbins, some people accused the initiative of being disingenuous, a suspicion Jim Mahone, a marketer who helped launch the campaign, confirms: “Never in any of these conversations did we purport to be a moral compass… It truly was just about a business decision.” And with $55 billion travel dollars, gays are always a good business decision…

Mahone goes on to hypothesize as to why people – gay and straight – scoffed at the idea:

The only conclusion that I can make right now is that if we would proceed, we would be pink-washing Summit County and that’s certainly something that we’d never wish to do. Every experience that we promote, be it family, African-American, they’re coming here with the assumption that they are going to experience what we’re marketing.

Meanwhile, known homosexual and activist James Lehman tells Robbins that there’s no way a city can suddenly turn “gay friendly”:

For whatever reason, if an area draws a fair number of gay people and theyy get together in their coffee shops, [etc], that’s what makes the gay friendly community, right there. You can’t have committee meetings and then say “This is what we want”. It just sort of has to happen naturally.

Kind of like gays themselves.

As for visiting Akron, we’re not sure it’s high on our list of travel destinations. Besides, everyone knows Cleveland rocks.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Jul 19, 2007
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 5 Comments
    • Mr. B
      Mr. B

      I live in Akron. There are tons of queers here, but other than one coffee shop, a few bars and a handful of adult bookstores (and a bathhouse, can’t forget that), I can’t name anything that counts as gay-friendly tourism. So, basically, your average supply-and-demand Midwestern Rust Belt town.

      Cleveland’s a better bet.

      Jul 19, 2007 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nycstudman
      nycstudman

      I’ve been to Akron. They should be happy if ANY tourists want to visit there!

      Jul 19, 2007 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      They could encourage gays to use rubbers. Terribly horny, you know.

      Jul 19, 2007 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • underbear1
      underbear1

      If you want to attract queers, then act like it, pass a state Hate Crimes Bill, which includes LGBT people.
      “Currently, no federal law provides for prosecution of hate crime with those biases and neither do most state laws, including Ohio’s.”
      http://www.gaypeopleschronicle.com/stories07/april/0406073.htm
      Ohio protecting state employees from discrimination is a good START, and was dumping homobigot Blackwell.

      THIS IS A DEAL BREAKER, sorry Ohio

      “By endorsing the Defense of Marriage Act, Ohio took a clear stance against legalized civil unions and domestic partner benefits for same sex-couples.

      [The Ohio amendment] was sold overwhelmingly to voters as pertaining only to same-sex marriage. As Ohio has quickly learned, however, bans that are meant for limiting one specific act can have spillover effects that reach far beyond the intended target.

      Ohio’s ban went on to forbid government bodies from recognizing the legal status of any unmarried couples living together, which has caused a sticky quagmire for judges trying domestic abuse cases.”

      LGBT people will improve properties, and spend our travel and expendible income ELSEWHERE.

      Jul 19, 2007 at 10:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Akron lover
      Akron lover

      Actually, Akron has a distinguished role in promoting gay culture; in the 1990s the annual Out in Akron festival was a brilliant forum for art, literature theater and polictics. Akron was one of the first cities in the country to have a Gay Communiy Endowment Fund; it is a key partnership with the Akron Community Foundation. And when you walk into the galleries of the wild and wonderful new Akron Art Museum, the first thing you see is a monumental gay-themed painting by Los Angeleno Lari Pittman; and that’s before you see the Warhols and Rauschenbergs, more gay icons.

      Oct 13, 2007 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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