Some food for thought and examples of what communities around the country are doing on the tolerance front. Some are putting out the welcome mat, while others are following a different route.
A recent USA Today series highlighted a new movement in which cities are posting signs declaring their inclusiveness. According to the article,
"Sixty-eight cities in 28 states have decided that a plain old welcome sign is no longer enough in a nation growing increasingly diverse. In a symbolic plea for greater tolerance, communities from West Virginia to California are posting signs that say: 'Welcome. We are building an inclusive community.'"
Alternatively, a recent article in the Washington Post provides anecdotal evidence from Virginia that points to potential 'gay' flight as the state's gay marriage debate heats up. From the article,
"Virginia state legislators passed a law two years ago that prohibits "civil unions, partnership contracts or other arrangements between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage." A proposed constitutional amendment, which will go to voters in November, excludes any "unmarried individuals" from "union, partnership or other legal status similar to marriage."
Many gay people in Virginia and some family-law attorneys say they worry that the state law and proposed amendment are more far-reaching than simple bans on gay marriage -- that the measures could threaten the legal viability of the contracts used by gay couples to share ownership of property and businesses.
Many have moved to the District, but no estimates are available. "Virginia is becoming not gay-friendly," said District-based real estate agent Jeff Lockard, who said he has many gay clients. "What we are seeing is that same-sex couples -- if they can afford it -- their preference is to be in the city. It's something I've seen more and more in the past year and a half."