Instead of boycotting Utah, here’s an opposite idea. If you’re gay, head there in droves

Although the boycott of Utah could cost the state a bundle in tourism dollars if it’s a success–and if it’s happening–here’s another idea to make an impact. Scott McCoy, an openly gay senator in Utah, has suggested that people who are gay should head to Utah in droves. I read about McCoy’s views in this Seattle Times article.

The idea McCoy had when he heard about the ban is to show folks in Utah that gay people and gay families are genuine and wonderful people. By showing up in Utah and doing vacation like things, these families would in essence be educating people about the need gay families have for equal rights under the law just like other families.

Reading McCoy’s take on the boycott reminded me about my experience at Kings Island this past August during Gay Pride Night. I went with my brother, his friend and my daughter. As I stood in line to ride the Firehawk, the roller coaster you ride mostly on your stomach, and looked at the other people in line, I thought how utterly common a scene it was. Shorts, T-shirts, sneakers, middle-aged paunches on some, better haircuts on others, talking, laughing, smiling, and visiting. When it stopped raining and all the rides were a go, the joy felt exactly the same on any other day when I’ve been to an amusement park in the rain. For some reason, give me a summer and I’ll go on the rainy day. It’s not planned that way, it just happens.

If I hadn’t known we were there on Gay Pride Night, I really wouldn’t have been able to tell. Maybe McCoy has a point. On the other hand, Colorado lost millions of dollars in the 80s when there was a similar boycott.

Peter Greenburg , the Today show’s travel guru, pointed out earlier this year before Prop 8 passed [see article] that with gay people being allowed to tie the knot in California, that state was going to be able to pull in serious bucks. I imagine these days, it’s good-bye dough to some extent.

Regardless of ones political or religious opinions, tourism is a powerful playmate when it comes to a state’s financial health.