Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Gay marriage (IA) and medical marijuana (MI) are ways states should use progressive ideas to draw distinction

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Originally published on on Mon, 04/06/2009 – 10:29am

If you picked Iowa as the first Midwestern state to go first for gay marriage, you probably won your pool.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, opening the doors to gay marriage in the Hawkeye State.

We see states competing to get a factory, giving tax breaks to companies so they will stay for 20 years, yet watch them leave after 8 years without penalty. Why not have states compete on issues that progressives can enjoy?

In these troubled economic times, states have to work hard to lure people to come visit or even live there. And there aren’t a whole lot of new factories being built, so states need to work harder to be a destination.

You would think that prejudice or whatever aside, gay marriage has the potential to draw tourism money to your state. Iowa, being the first state in the Midwest, could attract people coming to get married. And given the cost of weddings and how many businesses benefit from a wedding, there is the potential for a desperately needed influx of cash.

In the Midwest, Iowa can have gay marriage. Michigan just got medical marijuana. Imagine how many tourists and residents they could attract if a Midwestern state had both.

Now I’ve grown up in the Midwest and have lived here all my life. I’ve heard the jokes about how you can’t tell the difference between Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana (trust me, you can). But with a progressive bookmark, you would be able to tell the difference, even if you didn’t live in the Midwest.

Let’s be honest. You’ve thought about living in Michigan more than normal since November when they made medicinal marijuana legal. I’ve thought about it, and I used to live in Michigan. Ann Arbor is a nice liberal enclave, and there are some other nice towns or sections. Detroit has its own problems, besides the auto industry, but there are some solid suburbs.

And now Iowa becomes more appealing with the thought of gay marriage.

We shouldn’t stop at gay marriage and medical marijuana. What if states passed an equal pay act?

Delaware and South Dakota passed laws to encourage credit card companies to relocate so they can charge higher interest. States could pass laws saying if you want to have a credit card in their states, you have to treat customers better.

Personally, I would consider living in a state that banned high-fructose corn syrup.

We certainly don’t have to limit the efforts to the Midwest. But Vermont, Massachusetts, and California already have reputations for being more open-minded. The Midwest needs its time in the spotlight.

Though it was before my time, I’ve thought back to those states that banned inter-racial marriages. Toward the end, there were a few states that still banned the practice, yet the majority of the states (finally) had the sense to reach a logical conclusion that the bans served no purpose.

Republicans scream “state’s rights” whenever possible, unless it’s about a topic that isn’t on their wavelength. Well, progressives can yell “state’s rights” when they feel it’s appropriate. Medical marijuana and gay marriage are two areas where states are going to have to take the initiative. And it’s nice to see them finally arrive in the Midwest.


Written by democracysoup

April 6, 2009 at 10:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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