A Sept. 14 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr begins:
The Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (RMCVB), which is funded in part by hotel taxes, is promoting an initiative by local businesses to attract homosexuals to Virginia’s capital.
But Starr never explains why this is a bad thing, beyond the implication that spending tax money on gay people is inherently a bad thing. Starr's laughable attempt to find something wrong with a city expanding its tourism reach is best exemplifiedby this section, in which Starr details her incisive questioning:
Erin Bagnell, public relations manager for the RMCVB, and Jennifer Carnam, vice president of marketing, confirmed that although White and other sponsors are funding the Rainbow Over Richmond campaign, hotel tax funding is used to pay for all of the RMCVB’s operating costs, including its Web site and the pages it hosts and promotes.
Bagnell and Carnam told CNSNews.com that this mission of RMCVB is to promote and support all efforts to increase tourism in the Richmond region, be it an item added by a local arts group on its Web site calendar or by hosting a landing page on its Web site for initiatives like Rainbow Over Richmond.
CNSNews.com asked Bagnell and Carnam, “According to your Web site, your organization is funded in part by lodging, a portion of the lodging taxes from people who come and stay in hotels in Richmond, correct?”
Carnam answered, “Yes.”
CNSNews.com also asked the following: “If you go to Rainbow Over Richmond, you end up on your Web site [a landing page for Rainbow site], so your organization is funded – everything you do, whether it’s your personnel, office space, your Web site, your utilities – that a portion of what you do as a group, as a non-profit, a portion of your income is from lodging taxes? Correct?”
Carnam answered, “Correct.”
“That’s what we’re charged with at the convention and visitors bureau; to drive people to this area,” Bagnell said.
“We’re a welcoming destination,” Bagnell said. “We are welcoming to all.”
“Our goal is to promote the Richmond region as a welcoming destination, whether you’re coming for a family with your kids from the Washington, D.C., area or whether you’re bringing your family reunion, or whether you have a religious conference,” Carnam said. “We’re one of the top destinations for religious organizations who come here and use our convention center.”