Thursday, April 06, 2006

Creative professions oppose gay-marriage ban

The Twin Cities is one of the few nationally recognized centers of the ad industry outside of New York and Los Angeles. Twin Cities ad offices have billings of about $2 billion a year, and provide thousands of well-paying jobs.

That's why we should care about the letter that 50 local ad agencies sent to Gov. Pawlenty.

The letter says that such a constitutional amendment could undermine a creative business climate, stifle recruitment and send the wrong message to potential clients.

The agencies are self-interested to a degree, since many creative fields such as advertising have a higher-than-average percentage of gay employees. But when that industry is a major part of the state economy, we all have an interest in it.

There's research that shows a correlation between a region's gay population and its cultural and economic vibrancy. One can debate the causality -- do concentrations of gays create such vibrancy, or does the vibrancy create an environment that is attractive to gays? -- but the correlation is clear.

A gay marriage ban is not only unjust; it would be economically damaging to the state, chasing away the sort of high-paying jobs that we should be trying to attract.

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