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Sunday, July 04, 2004

The Gay Index

This is a rather interesting op-ed from Republican Sarah Janacek about economic development and what is called the Gay Index. Without rehashing the entire column, the point is that cities that show tolerance of gays tend to have higher economic growth due to the presence of a creative workforce. This proves to be a sticking point between social conservatives and pro-business conservatives.

It is hopelessly idealistic of me to expect that these kinds of columns will change anybody's mind about this issue, but one can always dream. I have always been confused about why social issues seem to trump economic issues for many people. I can understand how people are anti-abortion, anti-gay, and so forth, but at the end of the day you can't eat your homophobic sign. Anti-abortion leaflets aren't going to pay your mortgage. You need a job to do that, and the study mentioned in the column is just one more indication that the more open a society is, the more economic growth it creates.

Outfront Minnesota has a list of companies operating in Minnesota that provide domestic partner benefits to their employees. It is a very long list, full of names of well-known, large companies like Best Buy, Target, Microsoft, IBM, AT&T, and many others. Smart businesses know that to get high-quality employees, they have to acknowledge that some of them are gay and welcome that fact. Why hobble our entire state with constitutional amendments that point out that we are not tolerant of different people?

1 Comments:

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