"Virginia is for Haters"

In response to the Virginia legislature passing a law last April banning "all contracts" between same-sex couples, some activists have taken issue with the slogan "Virginia is for Lovers" used to attract tourists to Virginia, launching VirginiaIsForHaters.org. The website asks the public to "join forward-thinking Americans across the country in boycotting Virginia companies and their products and services" in order to "prove that when a U.S. state attacks the fundamental rights of gay and lesbian citizens, gays and lesbians know how to fight back. This from a story in the Washington Blade about the boycott:

"Albert Leatherman, a law student at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, said he found otherwise when he e-mailed several owners of bed and breakfasts in colonial Williamsburg to notify them of his decision not to vacation in Virginia. One B&B owner in particular sent a response approving of the boycott, Leatherman said.

“We in Virginia could not be happier if you and all your homosexual militants boycott this wonderful state,” wrote Brad Hirz, the owner of the Liberty Rose Inn in Williamsburg, according to a copy of an e-mail exchange provided by Leatherman.

“You know what that means, there won’t be any of you in this state! What is the downside here? There isn’t! Boycott away,” Hirz said in the exchange. “It will be a wonderful day when a child can grow up in a free country, learn the goodness of this world and never know the existence of such a horrid thing as a homosexual.”

Hirz said he did not recall sending the e-mail, and when a copy of the exchange was shown to him, he declined further comment on the record.


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