Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Iowa Brain Drain: Solved

For generations Iowa has been a great place to settle down and raise a family. Quiet towns, wonderful schools, and warm inviting people. However when the kids grow up and finish college a large majority of them leave the state for the promise of a better job or a bigger city. A problem to be sure, but the Des Moines Register and the Iowa State Senate have finally figured out a way to solve that age old problem...add sexual orientation to the state's civil rights code.
But it's also a matter of pragmatism. Rejecting the bill risks losing talented young professionals to the growing number of states that ban such discrimination, including neighboring Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Now lets be clear, I am not against adding sexual orientation to the state's civil rights code, but I don't suppose we could keep a little perspective? The US Constitution has always been a simple document open to interpretation, and if you will allow me to cliche, a living document. Iowa's Constitution is kind of exact opposite, with verbiage for nearly every rule and transgression imaginable. So adding a few more words doesn't really matter to me.

However lets be realistic, this isn't going to stop anyone from leaving this state for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. Why, do you ask? Minneapolis, Chicago, OK so maybe Milwaukee doesn't help my argument, but the point is that Iowa [whether the Register wishes to admit or not] will never be like our neighboring states. We aren't metropolitan and if it was, while we might have a more diverse population, a lot of other people would no longer live here. Some people enjoy the slow pace that Iowa offers.

And I consider this whole time prior to the adding of sexual orientation to Iowa's civil right code to be a lost opportunity. Previously whenever I wanted to fired someone I needed about three incidents of employee neglect to avoid paying unemployment. Little did I know I could have just filled out the unemployment claim by saying the fired employee was gay.

"Joe was a great employee: showed up on time, did his work, and was a joy to be around. But I had to let him go because he like to play with Richard Gere's gerbil."

Call me cynical, but sexual orientation is probably already covered by one of our many other laws. But whatever...pass the law and let the mass immigration of Iowa commence.

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