Standing up for a cause you believe in is always important. As a representative of New Orleans tourism industry – the city’s largest and most diverse industry – the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) took a stand against discrimination in every form and fought for same-sex marriage equality. For his work to ensure love won in Louisiana, Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the CVB, received the 2015 Human Rights Campaign Louisiana Community Leaders award.
New Orleans has a long history of welcoming all visitors with an attitude that accepts and values diversity, tolerance and the joy of life. It is in the way we celebrate these things that makes New Orleans unique. When the religious freedom legislation, as it was written, threatened that, the CVB fought back. The very nature of our industry – hospitality – reflects our principles. What’s more, as a business and industry, we need to protect our economy through measures that invite – not dissuade – people from visiting. We’re committed to making every visitor and New Orleans resident feel welcome in this city; our huge industry and our economy depends on it.
The New Orleans CVB acted quickly to marshal the industry and private sector business partners to defeat HB707 successfully. The strength of the CVB’s fight against discrimination reflected the strength of the industry and all that it stands for. We’re honored to have received the HRC award, but we weren’t in it for the accolades – we simply did what we believed was right, and we’re proud that the Supreme Court of the United States Agreed. NEW ORLEANS WILL welcome everyone with open arms!