One of the more conservative national publications has tackled a gay rights issue in an op-ed today - the "brain drain" of gays in states with laws that discriminate against LGBTs.
The piece highlights a report by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission on the economic impact of that state's laws barring domestic partnership benefits for same sex partners.
In a section of the report titled, "Discrimination Impacts the Economy," the commissioners found, "People are leaving the state … and seeking out jobs with employers that have policies and environments inclusive of and favorable toward LGBT employees."
Ironically, Michigan's domestic partnership ban was just blocked by a judge who cited the new U.S. Supreme Court DOMA ruling. The Michigan ban will now be challenged in a trial.
The piece goes on to note that employers are getting questions from prospective candidates for jobs:
"I think the concept of an LGBT brain drain is a possibility," says Joe McCormack, managing partner of McCormack & Warren Executive Search Consultants, a national job placement firm based in Palm Springs.
McCormack says his gay and lesbian clients who are hot prospects now have clear choices when it comes to legal protections.
"I would say one of the first questions we get from any LGBT candidate is about corporate benefits, and whether they are available to same-sex partners. If that answer is no, that is a big red flag for them."
And it's not just LGBT workers:
"It's a whole generation who have grown-up accepting LGBT co-workers as equals who do not want to work for companies that aren't progressive."
Larger companies are also expecting a rash of transfer requests from LGBT employees that will want to move to more LGBT friendly states. The SF Business Times had a piece a few weeks back on this issue.
Informally, I can see that I'm seeing quite a few of my friends and acquaintances on Facebook that are going on trips out of NC or other "gay marriage ban" states to get hitched and some are making plans to move to California or one of the gay marriage friendly states in the northeast. It's more than just idle talk - they're checking out job prospects and talking about putting up their house for sale or looking for a place to live.
With Amendment One and the antics of the Republicans in the legislature, are we seeing a "gay brain drain" here in NC? Any big employers in NC seeing an uptick in people wanting to transfer or not work here because of the climate towards gays and regressive legislation?