gay marriage in rural states: what's up?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hottcjimmyv, May 8, 2009.

  1. hottcjimmyv

    hottcjimmyv Member

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    So I grew up as a progressive in what is currently a very conservative state (Tennessee), and I'm now going to school in Vermont, a very liberal, but VERY rural state (we have Ben and Jerry and cows--that's about it). All my life I've heard about NYC, LA: the bastions of American liberalism and then the "fly-over": the backwards red states that persecute anyone other than white Anglo-Saxon protestants.

    My question is two-fold: why are largely rural states like Iowa, Maine, CT, MA and VT the states that are currently most sympathetic to gay marriage and does this represent a massive shift in the country where NYC and LA aren't quiet as funky, fresh and fly as the fly-over.

    Opinions?
     
  2. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Because New England retains its libertarian heritage. I can't speak to Iowa but have found Iowans to be along the same lines. New Englanders, in case you haven't noticed, tend to be independent people. The constitution of the state you're now attending school in is the oldest in the country and goes back to Vermont's existence as an independent republic. New England was the birthplace of not only independence, but abolition and suffrage as well. Vermont, uniquely, has had no history of slavery.

    Gay marriage has opposition within New England of course, yet there's a sensibility that tends to mute any bigotry in favor of giving the other person the benefit of the doubt when it comes to civic rights.
     
  3. andrexx

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    I can't speak for the east and west coasts, but I live in Minnesota, which is (obviously) just north of Iowa. While Minnesotans and Iowans seem to live conservative lifestyles, we (and the rest of the upper-Midwest) tend to be left-leaning progressives. Minnesota consistently votes blue and in any moderately-sized city, it's difficult to find conservatives.

    Iowa is much the same. The problem is that the upper-Midwest is often categorized along with the rest of the largely conservative Midwest and mountain-states. We're the progressives in the middle of the country and don't be too surprised when you see policy changes like this. :p
     
  4. BiItalianBro

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    I was in a long term gay relationship (5 years) with an Iowan (who is totally LPSG material lol) and a part time Iowa resident. Being a southern native who has spent all of his adult life in large urban areas, there was a little culture shock. Not culture shock in a bad way...it is just that they are not loud people who will get in your face to convert someone to their opinion. There is not much racial diversity...and neither DSM or Cedar Rapids have anything remotely close to a 'gayberhood'. In fact, the one gay bar in CR at the time was a rehabed McDonalds building...you payed the cover in the drive thru window lol (not kidding).

    I did find Iowans are very VERY independent people...also very private people. So, even though they may not 'agree' with what you are 'doing' they will respect your right to do it...as long as it does not cause harm to others, of course. I also thought that it was interesting that a city like Cedar Rapids, metro pop about 110K had something like 6 or 7 adult bookstores. Hmmm.
     
  5. Guy-jin

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    It's more a New England thing than a "rural states" thing.

    Think "Don't Tread On Me" and "Live Free Or Die". These are the mantras New Englanders have ingrained in them as children.

    Expect New Hampshire to be legalizing it very shortly as well.

    (I don't know much about Iowa, though.)
     
  6. Bbucko

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    Massachusetts, at least Eastern Massachusetts (excluding the Cape) is actually pretty urban, in a depressed dead-mill town kinda way: Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn, Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton, Worcester...none of those municipalities could be labeled rural or suburban at all (and I've left out the unambiguously urban place close to Boston like Revere, Chelsea, Quincy, Everett, Arlington, etc which really are essentially Boston's outlying neighborhoods).

    Although many here with no real knowledge of New England or its history will disagree with me on this, it's not New England that's changed since WW2: it is just as conservative as it ever was. What's changed is the Republican party's aggressive use of wedge issues (God, Guns & Gays) and its whole "Southern Strategy" that has alienated the live-and-let-live and modest conservatives from Norwalk to Eastport and from Newport to Burlington.
     
  7. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    New England's just cool is all.
     
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