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May 5, 2003

Pro Gay=Mo' Pay?

It's always hard to tell whether there is really a cause/effect relationship in studies like this, but interesting nonetheless. Maybe we'll finally get a few hip-hoppers to let go of their homophobia, if we can prove there's money in it.

Gay-tolerant societies prosper economically

If you object to homosexuality on moral grounds, as Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., recently did in an interview, you may not be swayed by economic arguments. But if you are a fan of entrepreneurship and business growth, you should know the economic price of intolerance.

The key to understanding America's technological and economic vibrancy lies in our openness to new people and ideas. Tolerance of immigrants, gays and other minorities is much more important to sustained economic growth and the high-paying jobs than the tax cut President Bush has in mind.

Research I conducted with Gary Gates, an Urban Institute demographer, shows that the big new-ideas and cutting-edge industries that lead to sustained prosperity are more likely to exist where gay people feel welcome. Most centers of tech-based business growth also have the highest concentrations of gay couples. Conversely, major areas with relatively few gay couples tend to be slow- or no-growth places. Pittsburgh and Buffalo, which have low percentages of gay couples, were two of only three major regions to lose population from 1990 to 2000.

Studies controlling for a wide range of factors also show innovation and economic vitality closely associated with the presence of gays and other indicators of tolerance and diversity, such as the percentage of immigrants and the level of racial and ethnic integration...

Posted by jsmooth995 at May 5, 2003 1:51 AM

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