COLUMBIA — After South Carolina’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT) refused to pay its bill for a British advertising campaign, a statewide LGBT organization has stepped up to the plate to save the state from indebted embarrassment.
The Board of the South Carolina Pride Movement has decided to raise the $5,000 necessary to pay the debt owed by the state for the “South Carolina is so gay” ads created for London Pride Week.
Q-Notes broke the story late Wednesday evening that the directive to do away with the ads came directly from the office of Gov. Mark Sanford.
“Unfortunately, South Carolina has sent a message to the world, that a signed contract from any state agency could be nullified if someone says, ‘Oops, we made a mistake in signing this contract,'” suggested Board member Bruce Converse, who also works as the and executive producer of Rainbow Radio. “In other words, the ‘word’ of South Carolina can’t be trusted. We believe it is the right thing to do, to repay this debt.”
Ryan Wilson, President of SC Pride stated, “We feel it is our duty to keep the word that the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recs, and Tourism gave through their contract with ARMO Worldwide and we intend to raise the necessary funds since they have refused to pay their bill!”
The group also officially announced that a joke image circulated by supporters after the news broke of the ad dust-up will become one of its official ad campaigns for the Sept. 20 SC Pride Festival.
The “South Carolina WILL BE ‘So Gay'” campaign will be launched first at the group’s website.
“Someone needs to rise above and do the right thing, and the GLBT community of South Carolina should be the ones to do it, and the SC Pride Movement is going to take the lead,” Wilson added. “South Carolina may not be “so gay” currently but we are going to show the world that we can be and we WILL BE so gay, and gay friendly some day!”
info: Anyone interested in donating to help pay South Carolina’s “So Gay” debt should contact Ryan Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org; call the Harriet Hancock Community Center, 803-771-7713; or visit www.scpride.org.