Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Episcopal Community Services to be Beneficiary of the Folsom Street Fair

The official poster for this coming September's Folsom Street Fair has been released by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Folsom Street Events. The theme seems to be mocking traditional marriage and family life, I suppose in response to the passage of Prop 8.

If you click on the image you get a large version. You can see at the bottom that one of the beneficiaries of the event is Episcopal Community Services. The money will go to the local branch, which does good work. But I am disappointed to think that the Episcopal Church would be in any way affiliated with this event. Clearly by doing so, the Episcopal name goes on the official poster, which is making a mockery of traditional marriage.

The Folsom Street Fair is one of the few occasions when sadomasochistic activities are encouraged and performed in public and people publicly engage in sexual behavior. Here is the link to the ZombieTime photo essay of the 2007 Folsom Street Fair. You may remember that the 2007 Folsom Street Fair Poster was infamous for its mockery of the The Last Supper:

(Again, you can click to see a larger version, and the beneficiaries are listed on the bottom. As far as I can tell, Episcopal Community Services was not listed on this 2007 poster.)

Every year, our old friends, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence serve to guard the gates of the Folsom Street Fair. (Hmmm, I see Episcopal Community Services of SF is listed among those who have received a grant from "the sisters".)

So, why would Episcopal Community Services allow their brand to be associated with the Folsom Street Fair? Notice that the beneficiary organizations had to submit grant applications to become beneficiaries, so it took deliberate effort to become a beneficiary.

You don't suppose this is part of the new I Am Episcopalian marketing strategy, do you?

UPDATE: In response to a comment/question from Andy, I found that the San Francisco Hotel Tax is used to provide a $22,000 grant to support this event. You can see on the list on the link that the tax is also used to fund the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade to the tune of $77,200.


Andy said...

I'm curious to know if this dandy little soiree receives any public funds (California or US)?

Perpetua said...

Well, aside from San Francisco letting them take over the city blocks used for the day and the police required, I see that the San Francisco Grants for the Arts is listed as a sponsor under the media category. SF Grants for the Arts gets the money to give grants from the San Francisco Hotel Tax.

The Underground Pewster said...

Tainted money indeed. This should always be an issue for charities when deciding whether or not to accept funds.

Another thought, doesn't using the Hotel tax to fund this behavior put a new twist on the term "Sin Tax?"

Anonymous said...

Several hundred thousand people attend every year. It's not surprising to see some fraction of the money visitors generate being returned to the organizers.

Perpetua said...

Hi alabama dutchman,

Your "several hundred thousand" must refer to the Gay Pride Parade. Forty thousand attend the Folsom Street Fair. I guess you are saying that the events generate visitors who pay the hotel tax, so it is appropriate that some of that tax money goes back to promote the events that generate the tax revenue.

The problem is that these events create a stigma in the minds of many others and thus discourage many others from visiting San Francisco. Many, many families that would love to visit San Francisco, do not come here. The parents do not wish to expose their children to the sexual deviancy in evidence.

So, the net effect of these events on tourism to San Francisco is negative. Far more families are not coming here to vacation that otherwise would have, than the number of sexual deviants that are attracted by these events. Demographically, there just aren't enough sexual deviants to make up for the loss of the normal people. Hmmm, sounds kind of like what is happening to the Episcopal Church!

Anonymous said...

No, I meant several hundred thousand. Here's an old SF Gate article that has the attendance 10x what you say it is:

I'd also suggest that one of San Francisco's main tourist appeals is its strong counter-culture. It's image in popular culture is hippies, LGBT people, liberals, and the like. A lot of the tourists who come here come with that expectation. "Normalizing" SF for "Normal" families would remove the two largest tourist events in the city.

Perpetua said...

Alabama Dutchman,

Thank you for insisting on the 400,000 number and providing the news article. I checked the Folsom Street Events website where I remembered getting the 40,000 number. I guess I just wasn't able to imagine it was this bad and misread the number. 400,000 attend this event each year!

No wonder decent families shun San Francisco! It has become like tourism to Cambodia. People don't want to go there to see the ancient ruins for fear they will be thought to have actually gone for the child prostitution.