A daily glance at the top 10 Charleston stories of 2008. Look for the entire list in this week’s Charleston City Paper.

5. South Carolina Is “So Gay”

You have to wonder if the gay Londoners targeted by the “South Carolina Is So Gay” ads were thinking the same thing those of us who really know this state did: “South Carolina? Really?” S.C. tourism officials authorized the ads. Similar ads were bought highlighting Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C., without controversy. But S.C. officials, scared to death that gays might actually feel welcome here, got angry and refused to pay the bill.

In 2009: We’ve been contacted twice by gay visitors, though not from London, who were planning trips and worried that South Carolina wasn’t safe, so it’s our guess that gay tourists will be looking elsewhere — like Atlanta, Las Vegas, or Washington, D.C.