Governor Cuomo’s pandering to the gay community is in full bloom, with the state unveiling a new tourism campaign aimed specifically at the LGBT community. It is, cleverly enough, named “I Love NY LGBT”.
According to the National Journal, the Empire State is looking to attract a very specific group looking to get married.
As New York city celebrated Pride weekend Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new “I Love NY LGBT” ad campaign aimed at attracting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender tourists to the state. The pitch on the site is simple: “Come and explore why, for LGBT travelers, there is so much to love in New York state.” But for Andrew Cuomo, who still reportedly has an eye on the 2016 presidential race, the campaign is not just about extra tourism revenue.
In a press release announcing the campaign, the governor’s office is explicit in wanting to get New York a part of the $70 billion in tourism a year spent within the United States by the LGBT community. And, with same-sex marriage legal in the state, Cuomo even gives some ideas of what the state has to offer: “New York has a proud history of welcoming the LGBT community, and whether you’re planning a weekend trip or a destination wedding, I encourage all to come explore the Empire State.”
If you didn’t know any better, a visit to the New York State website would lead one to believe that the struggle for gay marriage rights was on par with the battle to abolish slavery, or equal to struggles in the Arab spring.
The LGBT community and New York State go way back. This is where the Stonewall rebellion gave birth to the modern LGBT civil rights movement, just as it was the birthplace of the women’s rights movement and a hub of the abolitionist movement. It’s where Harvey Milk went to college, and home to the nation’s oldest continually operating LGBT community center and longest continually published LGBT newspaper. We continued to make history when we became the largest state in the nation with legal marriage for all loving couples.
Bottom line – it is about political and economic capital, nothing more.
This is a politically motivated effort to aide in Cuomo’s anticipated presidential run in 2016.
Additionally, weren’t same-sex couples simply looking for equality? If this amounts to a civil rights issue, how does it differ from a campaign to specifically target, say, people of different races? Do same-sex couples have significantly differing vacation preferences than heterosexual couples?