How The Court Rulings On Gay Rights Help Connecticut

by Categorized: Economy, law Date:

The pair of rulings Wednesday morning on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 represent a double victory for Connecticut’s economy even though they fall short of delivering the right-to-marry order that many had hoped to see.

In fact, the rulings help Connecticut precisely because they don’t confer same-sex marriage rights across the land. In striking down the DOMA, the narrow, 5-4 majority said the federal government cannot take away a legal standing that states choose to allow.

Excerpt of the opinion from SCOTUS Blog:

 The federal statute…for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.

That means states such as Texas and South Dakota, whose governors traveled to Connecticut last week to poach our businesses, are still free to deny same-sex rights. And that gives business owners who live in Connecticut one more factor to think about as they weigh staying or leaving.

Do they want themselves and their employees to live in a place that restricts civil rights? And even if they don’t care about gay rights or if they oppose same-sex marriage, they will have to consider that many potential employees won’t move to states that are less progressive.

And the decision is a double victory because it says that for those states that do confer marriage rights, the federal government can’t take those rights away. That means Social Security and other benefits, and it means there will be a rush at the stroke of midnight on Year’s Eve for married couples of the same sex to become the first to file federal income taxes jointly.

This is the legal opposite of Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court in 1973 said no state may deny reasonable rights to abortion. As we saw in Texas Tuesday night, states are still debating what abortion rights are reasonable 40 years later, but the point is, the court has denied states a lot of leeway in setting abortion rules.

So, yes, an overturning of Roe v. Wade would also help Connecticut, as it would let states decide whether to confer abortion rights, and we all know what places such as Texas and South Dakota would do.

“From a narrow perspective of what helps Connecticut, this ruling is what helps Connecticut,” said UConn economist Fred V. Carstensen. He added that because big companies already bless same-sex unions in their employment policies, “in the short run, it may make the 12 states that are hospitalble to gay marriage more attractive to Fortune 500 companies.”

This is just one of many factors businesses must weigh, and not the biggest one by a long shot. So we’re not going to see a flood of people and companies into the gay-marriage states. But Carstensen said, in a comment that flies in the face of what we’re seeing these days, “The states that are more progressive…are going to be the winners.”

I first heard the economic argument about Roe v. Wade  from Lewis Mandell, an economist and associate dean at the UConn business school who left in the mid-90s. It sounded at first like a crackpot theory or a joke, but it isn’t.  Consider that much of the industrial move to the low-cost South in the ’60s and 70s coincided with the Voting Rights Act and the Civil rights Act, backed up by a series of crucial rulings by the Warren Court.

And if you think recruitment of progressive-minded people doesn’t matter to businesses, think again. We would not be here today talking about federal gay marriage rights if it weren’t for those Fortune 500 companies, which offered health benefits to same-sex couples in the ’90s as part of their desperate search for top-flight, educated workers — long before the first state blessed the first gay marriage.

Now the baby boomers are hitting age 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day, and soon the United States will again be a place where employees can call their own shots — maybe even in slow-growth states like Connecticut.

If those Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers can see a big difference between states, they might just choose to avoid what many perceive as backward places. And gays and lesbians tend to have more education and income than the population as a whole, according to some research.

As it happens, many of the states that are lowest-cost for companies, the red states, will be the ones that restrict abortion rights, deny same-sex marriage, sanction school prayer and a religious curriculum, ban stem-cell research, keep the death penalty and shun gun control.  Personally, I oppose Connecticut’s new ban on semiautomatic rifles that have a pistol grip, but in general I and many other people would not choose to live in a state that had a conservative social agenda.

The California ruling in the Proposition 8 case adds to the state’s rights canon, by remanding the decision back to California rather than striking down the ban on same-sex marriage outright. It isn’t every day that Justice Kagan joins with Justice Scalia.

From SCOTUS Blog:

Here’s a Plain English take on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage: After the two same-sex couples filed their challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court in California, the California government officials who would normally have defended the law in court, declined to do so. So the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend the law, and the California Supreme Court (in response to a request by the lower court) ruled that they could do so under state law. But today the Supreme Court held that the proponents do not have the legal right to defend the law in court. As a result, it held, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case.

Wednesday’s Supreme court ruling confirmed that states have a right to set a social agenda, and that’s part of the reason Connecticut should celebrate. “This puts another arrow in our quiver,” Carstensen said.

Put another way, we need all the help we can get.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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35 thoughts on “How The Court Rulings On Gay Rights Help Connecticut

  1. Jamie Math

    Dan, do you sincerely believe what you write?

    “If those Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers can see a big difference between states, they might just choose to avoid what many perceive as backward places”

    If there’s any truth to what you say, how do you explain the population trends? Here’s population growth from 2010 through 2012, by state. Top 3 states are the places you would, and have, called backwards – ND, UT, TX. CT is ranked 42nd.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population_growth_rate

    If you are correct, that progressive, educated, enlightened, martini-drinking, forward-looking youngsters won’t want to live in these backward hardscrabble deserts of nothingness, how can you explain the irrefutable data, which shows unequivocably that people don’t base these decisions on availability og gay marriage or ease of securing an abortion?

    Your opinion appears to be demonstrably false. Unless you are claiming that as of right now, the people moving to Texas don’t realize that it’s a conservative place, and that once folks realize that, they will come back to CT in droves? Yeah, you keep pinning your hopes on that.

    1. fred

      Jamie, those population numbers are for everyone. You might find something entirely different if you tracked movement of people with college degrees. Most of the good, high-paying jobs (and highly paid people) are on the coasts, or around major cities, clustered around the centers of trade, government, education, and industry.

      1. jamiemath

        Fred – OK, you speculate that only the downtrodden are re-locating to Texas. Let’s see some data supporting that.

        College grads are fleeing CT. There’s nothing here for them except crushing tax rates to pay for the debts incurred by liberal politicians who sold out to public labor unions, before these recent grads were born. Texas has oil jobs, computer jobs…here in CT, the only new jobs are menial casino jobs.

        1. fred

          Many college grads are from out of state. Their leaving to return home is not surprising and happens everywhere. How many college grads who came from Connecticut are fleeing?

          1. Jamie Math

            Fred, you ask, “How many college grads who came from Connecticut are fleeing?”

            The answer, according to the Hartford Courant (and also according to anyone who isn’t blinded by ideology), is “plenty”.

            http://articles.courant.com/1994-03-16/news/9403160165_1_census-bureau-connecticut-young-adults

            According to this study, our state led the nation in decline of young adults. We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1!

            From the study…

            “What’s causing the decline in Connecticut’s population of young adults?… Experts say that in Connecticut, other factors are causing a much larger than average decline – namely, the recession and the high cost of living.”

            Fred, I’m not conservative just because I’m brainwashed. I’m finacially conservative, because just about ebery measurable statistic shows CT at our very near the bottom. We have high taxes AND high debt. How can state leaders be so stupid as to take so much from us, and yet have to borrow so much more? And what do we have to show for all that money? Our cities are an abject failure, our cost of living is astronomical, our public colleges are ridiculously expensive, our infrastructure is dilapidated…

            It’s simply not possible to look at the data honestly, and conclude that liberalism is working in CT.

          2. Jamie Math

            Fred, I now see that is old data. Couldn’t find anything newer. But let me ask you for a change…can you provide any data to say I’m wrong? We lost more young adults in the timeframe I posted, than any state in the nation. Can you give me one reason why that would be different today? Taxes are HIGHER today, cost of living is HIGHER today, debt-per-citizen is HIGHER today, college costs MORE today, unemployment is HIGHER today.

            I can’t find data to support what I’m saying. You haven’t posted any data to refute what I’m saying. Yet you assume I’m wrong.

  2. pete

    Hey Dan you are delusional if you really think a business owner would even contemplate NOT moving to a state which doesn’t recognize gay marriage. Business owners are driven by capitalism pure and simple. And are you saying if a business owner moves to TX they are bigots. I guess the rag HC will publish any trash to sell papers. Can’t wait for the HC to close

    1. Dan Haar Post author

      Pete, did you read the post? My only point is that the free market for employees could help drive decisions that lead companies to remain in blue states. I said nothing about bigotry at all and I did not criticize people who oppose gay marriage.

      And in general, I would not suggest that this is a major factor that sways all decisions — obviously, thousands of people are happy to move from blue states to red states for all kinds of reasons. This is simply one more factor in a list of many.

      1. Jamie Math

        Dan – you wrote “I did not criticize people who oppose gay marriage.”

        No? You didn’t insult those people? Have you been painting inside with the windows shut or something?

        Did YOU read your post? Here are some of the non-insulting things you said…

        “we in the blue-and-rainbow states believe are more civilized”
        “they might just choose to avoid what many perceive as backward places”

        Dan, did they teach you at Wesleyan, that it’s a compliment to refer to someone as backwards and un-civilized?

        I love the liberal smugness where you can insult these people, and then still claim the moral high road, denying that you would stoop to insults. Unbelievable.

  3. Jamie Math

    Dan, you wrote…”in general I and many other people would not choose to live in a state that had a conservative social agenda.”

    Again, the available data would seem to suggest that your group, the ones that would not live in a socially conservative state, is smaller than the group that has no problem with living in those places. And that’s the dilemma. Liberals, in my experience, have little ability to fathom the notion that not everyone agrees with them. So instead of considering the possibility that we need to make changes here in CT, liberals will assume that the more liberal we get, the more people will want to live here. You clearly believe that because you wrote it. For some reason, you continue to beleieve that, despite evidence to the contrary.

    It’s that willingness to deny that which doesn’t match our personal ethos, which wil be the downfall of liberalism in general, and CT in particular. In our lust to be as liberal as possible, we have made financial promises to Baby Boomers, particularly those in labor unions, that we can never pay for.

  4. Erik

    Do they want themselves and their employees to have to live in a place that denies civil rights?

    That’s a good question….and since CT denies, delays and infringes on the very basic civil and human right of self defense I think they must think of that as a major issue as well…as far as the civil right to marry..New Hampshire and Washington are 2 business friendly states that allow you to choose who you marry and the firearm you want to defend your life with…CT is done\over…The Income Tax did it..haven’t created a job since..

  5. Pingback: Couples Applaud Historic Court Ruling | Connecticut News

  6. StevenRosenbaum

    With all due respect, I just don’t see this issue as having anything to do with business.

  7. Dan Mathews

    From the article:
    “That means states such as Texas and South Dakota, whose governors traveled to Connecticut last week to poach our businesses, are still free to deny same-sex rights. And that gives business owners who live in Connecticut one more factor to think about as they weigh staying or leaving.”
    This may be the most economically illiterate idea in history. The author is clearly suggesting that companies who are struggling to survive would rather commit suicide and go down with the sinking-like-a-brick economic ship of state called Connecticut rather than relocate to states which have more business-friendly laws and regulations simply because they may happen to hold leftist sympathies. Mr. Haar, whose smug sanctimony oozes from every sentence, sneers down his nose at people from “places such as Texas and South Dakota.” You know what he means: all those gun-totin’, Bible-thumpin’, Confederate flag-wavin’, pickup truck drivin’, tobacky juice-spittin’ hayseeds who are held in such contempt in the one-party liberal precincts of the Hartford Courant. Not for nothing is the Courant’s economy perhaps the only one which is faring worse than Connecticut’s, and for exactly the same reason: the leftist ideas it promulgates on every page are economically illiterate, historically hopeless, and intellectually bankrupt. But you can’t blame the Courant staff; when everyone with whom you work is liberal, and all your friends are liberal, and all the people who taught you are liberal, and all the people with whom you studied were liberal, and all the people with whom you live are liberal, then of course you think that those who favor traditional marriage, the sanctity of human life, the second amendment, and religious displays in the public square are bizarre extremists instead of the American mainstream. Mr. Haar in particular seems to have learned everything he “knows” about conservative people from reading The Nation and listening to Bill Maher.
    But don’t take my word for it. Just ask the many business owners who have already pulled up their stakes and relocated to Texas what they think of Mr. Haar’s charming liberal fantasy-theory.
    Connecticut’s economy is ranked dead-last in the nation. If Uganda were a state, we would rank behind them economically. We have an unbearable per capita tax burden coupled (comically enough) with an unsustainable, crushing per capita debt burden. It turns out that you can’t borrow your way out of debt, nor can you spend your way into prosperity. (Who knew?) Mr. Haar’s bizarre suggestion that Connecticut’s position on gay marriage is somehow the key to its economic future shows he doesn’t exactly have his finger on the pulse of America, as you may have noticed if you tried getting a chicken sandwich on “Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day” but couldn’t because the lines were too long. His column brings to mind the sad, myopic worldview of Pauline Kael, who in 1972 famously wondered, “How could Richard Nixon have gotten re-elected [in a then-unheard of 49-state electoral landslide]? I don’t know anyone who voted for him!”
    Memo to Mr. Haar: it’s a big, wide, wonderful world out there. There are huge numbers of people who hold views which are vastly different than yours, as the 32 states whose citizens have rejected gay marriage ought to demonstrate. Many such states (Texas and North Dakota, to name but two) are creating good jobs for people every day. Meanwhile Connecticut is a total, hopeless, economic basket case.
    Yep. Keep on keeping on, Connecticut! You’re doing just fine! Some guy from the Hartford Courant just said so.

  8. Dan Haar

    Dan, that is a masterful tome of a response. I’m saddened that only those few of us diving deep into the blog comments will see it. Some issues:

    1. You forgot Jon Stewart, the ringleader!
    2. As I mentioned, I oppose bans of non-automatic weapons.
    3. Connecticut’s median family income rose faster than that of the nation as a whole and faster than that of Texas over the seven years from 2003 to 2011. We are not creating jobs and that’s not good for opportunity but our unemployment is in line with the nation’s and we have not seen an increase in poverty — at a time when Texas poverty has risen sharply.
    4. Manufacturing productivity is highest in Connecticut. I wonder whether this is related to the relatively low percentage of people without health insurance compared with, say, Texas, which is the lowest in the nation.
    5. Newspapers are struggling everywhere, in red states and blue, so it’s unlikely The Courant’s troubles are related to political leanings. This is especially true since the vast majority of Connecticut residents favor all of the liberal policies I outlined — including expanded gun bans, unfortunately.
    6. As far as I know there is no tally of business outmigration but it is extremely unlikely that many Connecticut businesses are moving to Texas. People tend to move but the number of businesses that actually relocate is tiny.
    7. As I mentioned, the issue is one of many, and not the most important one. In fact, I conclude by saying Connecticut can use all the help it can get. Is that the voice of arrogance?
    8. It’s true that companies are expanding in states with low taxes and regulations, but that doesn’t make those states better places for workers to live. I’d imagine the population of slaves in 1820 was higher in the South than the North, too.
    9. In contrast to what you suggested, I applauded the Court’s ruling that gives states the right to decide for themselves what to do — and I even said an overturning of Roe v. Wade would be fine for that same reason. All I said by way or normative preference was that Connecticut is better off if other states have the option to deny rights than if all states were forced to allow gay marriage. This is true by tautology — if even one single gay person refuses to move from Connecticut to a red state, Connecticut is better off. You may argue that some people will actually prefer to live in states that ban gay marriage, but those people most likely don’t live in Connecticut in the first place, so it’s no loss for us. And if there are people in Connecticut looking to escape the shackles of progressive social policies, I wish them farewell, may they live long and prosper, far away from us.

    1. jamiemath

      Dan, earlier you responded that you were not critical of those who oppose gay marriage and abortion. But I responded that you called them less civilized and backwards. Do you still contend that you were not critical of them?

      Stay away from Dan Mathews, he’s WAY out of your league (I know, cuz he’s my baby brother). In your entire response, I didn’t see you mention Connecticut’s taxes or debt. Gee, I wonder why?

      You have been eviscerated, sir. Gutted like a fish.

      Dan, I’d love you to find just one business owner in this state, who says “gee, I’d love to move to Texas to save my business, but my conscience won’t let me because I love abortion so much”.

    2. Dan Mathews

      Good morning, Dan. Thank you for taking the time to compose such a diligent reply.

      You wrote, “7. As I mentioned, the issue is one of many, and not the most important one. In fact, I conclude by saying Connecticut can use all the help it can get. Is that the voice of arrogance?”

      Oh my, yes. It is at best the voice of aloofness. There are huge numbers of people, even here in Connecticut (especially in conservative Litchfield County wherein I reside) who do not embrace liberalism and would laugh at the suggestion that the solution to Connecticut’s devastatingly poor business climate is gay marriage and abortion rights. And for the record, they also refuse to read a newspaper which reeks of editorial condescension toward them on every page. People don’t read a newspaper in order to be propagandized or (worse still) insulted.

      You also wrote, “8. It’s true that companies are expanding in states with low taxes and regulations, but that doesn’t make those states better places for workers to live. I’d imagine the population of slaves in 1820 was higher in the South than the North, too.”

      An interesting point, but one which serves my position much better than yours. There were more slaves in the American south in 1820 than in the north because they were forced to live there. If they attempted to escape, they were severely punished. But as soon as the Civil War ended, note that huge numbers of former slaves migrated to cities in the north not in search of abortions nor same-sex marriages but rather hoping for economic prosperity for themselves and their progeny which they couldn’t hope to attain in the former Confederate states because of Jim Crow laws which were designed to hold them back and keep them in a state of perpetual privation and dependency, much as the social welfare programs favored in the precincts of the Hartford Courant do to their descendants to this very day.

      With regard to your assertion that a healthy business climate with low taxes and less regulation “doesn’t make those states better places for workers to live,” this is tantamount to saying that economic prosperity and the freedom and dignity which inevitably accrue therefrom do not contribute to one’s quality of life as much as abortion and gay marriage. The good news for you is, Connecticut is governed by those who embrace your view and therefore politically speaking you are certainly on the “winning” side. The bad news, of course, is that this state is universally regarded as the worst place in the country to conduct business which is why we are choked with unemployment, poverty, misery, cynicism, and disenfranchisement. It is also why so many people, especially our young people and our elderly, are fleeing in droves, heading to places like Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and South Carolina where abortion and gay marriage may be frowned upon but where (through some strange alchemy not comprehended by anyone in Hartford) conservative policies have actually created a nicer place to live.

    3. Dan Mathews

      Dan, you wrote, “if even one single gay person refuses to move from Connecticut to a red state, Connecticut is better off. You may argue that some people will actually prefer to live in states that ban gay marriage, but those people most likely don’t live in Connecticut in the first place, so it’s no loss for us. And if there are people in Connecticut looking to escape the shackles of progressive social policies, I wish them farewell, may they live long and prosper, far away from us.” (No, seriously, you wrote that. I swear you did.)

      In other words, Connecticut would be better off economically if all the gay people in Connecticut stayed (which statistically is very likely a single-digit percentage of the population or close to it) and all the conservative people (probably around 45%) moved “far away.”

      Gadzooks, sir! I hope the tiny population of Connecticut which remained behind would all be billionaires in order to pay for the costs of all the liberal programs which the Courant supports even as it scoffs at the very people who are paying the bills.

  9. Michael

    According to the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation, Connecticut receives 27.9% of it’s budget in Federal aid. Texas gets 40.0% of her budget in Federal aid, and South Dakota comes in even better at 45.6 percent. The governors of Texas and South Dakota get extra help to keep their taxes lower, it seems like cheating a little. New York gets 40.0% in federal aid, Mass. @ 31.5, R.I. @ 38.3 and almost tax-free N.H. @ 34.5 percent. By the way, Governor Perry double dips himself, besides his $150,000 governor’s salary, he also receives a state employee pension of almost $7,700 a month. Texas also grows large public pensions. The Republicans hate big government, unless big government money makes their lives easier. Perhaps Mr. Haar can do a story how most other states, especially our neighbors, receives more Federal aid than we do.

  10. deep44

    Mr. Haar speaks of Gen-Xers/Gen-Yers.

    I am a Gen-Xer who is a Rockefeller Republican (Socially neutral, Fiscally responsible). This ruling is not relevant to the business climate and the writer stretches to spin this ruling as an economic positive. I’m moving out of the State because the taxable income will fall by 3-5% over the next 10 yrs while the amount of retirees increase by 10%. The off balance sheet contingent liabilities which is coming due will drive tax rates higher. I’ve decided not to pay for the mistakes of the liberal baby boomers.

    Simply put Mr. Haar, money is mobile. CT “leaders” need to understand the term value. I’m a top 5% person and I pay my taxes but I asked myself the question am I receiving value for my money? The answer is no. People will drive from Stop n Shop over to Walmart to purchase the same product at a lower price. The declining population in the St of CT corresponds with people shopping for value.

    Technology allows the work environment to be mobile and greater efficiency at corporations.

    A quick comment regarding the ruling, If 2 people of the same sex want to be married, please do however, do not attempt to sell it to myself our my family. I’ve chosen to respect your views, you should respect mine.

    Mr. Haar, stop spinning the ruling. Its unprofessional and embarrassing

    1. fred

      Connecticut population is NOT declining per US census estimates:

      3,287,116 – 1990
      3,405,565 – 2000
      3,574,097 – 2010
      3,586,717 – 2011
      3,590,347 – 2012

      1. Jamie Math

        In my first comment, I posted a link about population growth. Top 3 states were ND, UT, and TX. CT was ranked 42nd for growth. Our population did increase, but it is yet again another study showing CT near the bottom. For all our wealth, education, and enlightenment, we are getting clobbered in just about every statistic that can be measured.

        All you need to do is look at our tax rates and debt per capita. Both are among the highest in the nation. It’s bad to have high taxes. It’s bad to have a lot of debt. It’s mind-blowingly stupid to have both.

        1. fred

          deep44 said:

          “The declining population in the St of CT”

          I’m just setting the record straight. The population of Connecticut is NOT declining.

    2. Michael

      deep 44: What makes you think that Nelson Rockefeller was fiscally responsible? Under him, New York taxes skyrocketed, even more than what Governor Dempsey did to Connecticut.

  11. JoeMatty

    I read Mr. Haar’s blog with fascinating interest, as I was a business owner in CT specializing in helping people start franchises in CT and elsewhere. Because of the crushing taxes, irresponsible spending and deficits which will no doubt create more new and evermore crushing taxes, two years ago I contemplated moving my business from CT to Nashville, TN. One hand I could almost pay for my children’s college educations out of tax savings. As an avid tennis player, I loved the warmer weather, no snow, business friendly environment, friendly people, Southern hospitality, great neighborhoods, public schools (Williamson County) that rivaled CT, affordable housing, low crime, NO INCOME TAX AND LOW PROPERTY TAXES. On the other hand gays, as Mr. Haar aptly points, can’t be married. I tossed and turned, agonized about what I should do? Yes, if I move my business TN I could dramatically alter the quality of life for my 3 children perhaps forever. On the other hand, Chaz wouldn’t be able to marry Stephan. I thought, “Why should I have to make such tortured decisions? WHy? Why? Why?”

    Kidding.
    We went down there, fell in love, and moved. No problem.

    The Haar report should be renamed the HARDY HAR HAAR report because it is LAUGH OUT LOUD STUPID. Mr. Haar, as a former CT business owner, author of 3 business books, and one who works with business owners and job creators all over the country, GAY RIGHTS IS NOT A LINCHPIN ECONOMIC ISSUE. GAY RIGHTS IS NOT EVEN ON THE RADAR SCREEN!!!!! GAY RIGHTS IS NOT A TOPIC OF DISCUSSION IN THE BOARDROOM. GAY RIGHTS IS IRRELEVANT TO BUSINESS, except perhaps GAY RIGHTS will increase the cost on some businesses and perhaps in the process cost some innocent, straight person their job. But high costs of business such as crushing taxes are discussed…constantly.

    To say you are absolutely and magically clueless would be an insult to clueless people. You created your own category of head up your rear end.

    Sir, I can only deduct form your piece that you are such a hopeless ideologue that you did no research and assumed your opinions were self-evident as truth.

    Thanks for the laugh. HARDY HAR HAAR.

    1. Jamie Math

      Hardy haar haar! Brilliant Joe!

      Well, since we here in CT support gay marriage, and we embrace abortion at any time and for any reason, I assume it’s only a matter of time before all of Wall Street relocates to Bridgeport. Shortly afterwards, Silicon Valley shall move to the Frog Hollow section of Hartford, and that will take place just in time for all the dot-com billionaires to fire their hired drivers and instead enjoy the new busway from New Britain, a liberal pet project no doubt embraced by the Hardy-Har-Haar report, which paved 9 miles of road for the bargain basement price of $500 million.

      I guess the folks at the Moody’s rating agency are a bunch of gay-bashing sexists. Because they chose to lower our state’s bond rating, despite the fact that we love gay marriage and abortions for all.

  12. Dan Haar Post author

    You folks on this string, especially but not exclusively the Mathews brothers, are making some strong points but your logic is flawed in two fundamental ways.

    1. I never suggested that gay rights is a linchpin issue, or that many thousands of honorable, productive people in Connecticut don’t share that value, or that it trumps other business factors. I also did not say that with gay marriage, Connecticut becomes a great place for businesses to be. Never said any of that. All I said was that on the margin, it’s another factor that some people will consider. So, to make the arguments that other factors such as taxes and cost of living are far more important, and that most people don’t care a whit about gay rights as an economic factor, is missing my point. Imagine if there were no hair coloring industry and someone came up with that idea. You’d say, well, most people have no need or interest in hair coloring at all, that’s a silly idea. But for those few people who do elect to color their hair, the products matter a lot and as a result, the industry makes a fortune. Likewise, same-sex marriage isn’t a factor for most people but for those who do care about it, it’s a really big deal. And right now they can get it in only 12 states, so those states have an advantage over the other 38 states in competing for those people. Connecticut’s fiscal crisis is what it is, that’s not part of the discussion. Connecticut could be a toxic wasteland with 100 percent income tax, that would still not be part of the discussion. Remember fundamental logic: We are isolating one factor here, not discussing the big picture of one state vs. another. If you moved to Tennessee, the question is not whether you moved for economic reasons that trumped everything else; clearly you did, and that’s that. The question is whether Connecticut’s gay marriage laws helped drive you away. I’d argue that if that’s true, it is outweighed by people coming here for the opposite reason.

    2. I did, as you pointed out, say that people who don’t like living in a progressive state may choose to leave and I wished them well, far away from us. But that’s not to say the state would be better off if they left — far from it, we would be worse off if our social policies drove away more people than they attracted and retained. Read what I said, not what you think I believe — I said, those people may choose to leave and I wish them well. My assumption is that the social policies of Connecticut — on their own, not in conjunction with economic policies — will bring in more people than they drive away. Social liberalism is our calling card, and it’s fine for Connecticut to be an outlier in that area, in contrast to taxes and cost of living, where being an outlier certainly hurts us.

  13. Jamie Math

    Mr Haar, you have this habit of contradicting yourself. For example, in this comment, you said…”I never suggested that gay rights is a linchpin issue, or that many thousands of honorable, productive people in Connecticut don’t share that value”

    But in another comment, you said this…”You may argue that some people will actually prefer to live in states that ban gay marriage, but those people most likely don’t live in Connecticut in the first place”

    So in one comment you say that those opposed to gay marriage likely don’t live in CT, then you say that you never suggested that thousands of CT citizens aren’t opposed to gay marriage.

    So which is it?

    Mr Haar, the whole point of this article was that our state’s positions on gay marriage and abortion will give us some kind of competitive edge against the southern states that are, in your words, backwards and less civilized. We all know that you desperately want to believe that some meaningful number of jobs will get created here for that reason. That belief is a stretch, to say the least.

    “My assumption is that the social policies of Connecticut — on their own, not in conjunction with economic policies — will bring in more people than they drive away”

    What could you possibly be basing that on? We all know our poplation growth trends are among the lowest in the nation. We also know that, while recent polls show a clear shift in favor of gay marriage, recent polls show a similarly clear shift against abortion on demand.

    Mr Haar, your belief that social liberalism will attract more citiizens than we lose, cannot possibly be substantiated by any availabke data.

    “I said, those people may choose to leave and I wish them well.”

    Again, you left out the part that you wish them to move “far away”. Dan, if you want to be derogatory towards those with whom you disagree, fine. But you can’t then hide behind a shield of liberal smugness and claim that you respect those southern conservatives. You cannot have it both ways. It’s very dishonest to hurl insults, and then act holier-than-thou. Not only is it dishinest, apparently it also doesn’t sell a whole lot of newspapers.

  14. dom

    I actually thought in this case Mr. Haar was rather clear. People who choose to live in a state without gay marriage probably don’t live in CT. They would obviously choose to live elsewhere. But there can also be many that disagree with gay marriage but choose to stay, not being so strongly against gay marriage to leave because of it.

  15. Dan Haar

    That is correct, Dom. Many people don’t support same-sex marriage but are not about to leave because of it.

    As for the question of attracting people through social liberalism, the overall migration trends are irrelevant. If 20,000 more people leave Connecticut than move here for economic reasons, and one more person comes here than leaves because of social policies, then my statement is correct. Again, I’m isolating the issue. There’s no data on this but it seems intuitive. There is no additional reason for a person who opposes gay marriage to leave now, but there are additional reasons for people who favor it to come here now, under the court’s ruling.

    And as for my smugness on people who oppose progressive social policies moving “far away,” I’m referring to people who not only oppose the policy, but those who oppose it so strongly that they’re not willing to live here — for that reason alone, not for economic or other personal reasons. Those people, who feel so strongly about gay marriage that they’re not even willing to live here, should in my view, yes, move far away from here. I value living in a place with a divergence of opinion, don’t misunderstand — but if you feel so strongly that you don’t want to even be here, then farewell and go far away.

    1. fred

      Evidently you figure the Supreme Court ruling yesterday should have prevented Sikorsky layoffs today.

  16. JoeMatty

    Mr. Haar, you wrote, “If 20,000 more people leave Connecticut than move here for economic reasons, and one more person comes here than leaves because of social policies, then my statement is correct.” By the same logic, if 20,000 people like me leave CT for economic reasons and one moves here because they like the pizza then brick oven thin crust Neapolitan-style pizza gives Ct a clear economic advantage over states too. So what?

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