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June 11, 2007

« States as Countries | Main | Music and Place »

Thomas Chapman, Jonathan I. Leib, and Gerald R. Webster have a article in the latest edition of Southeastern Geographer (link here sub to MUSE reqd) titled "Race, the Creative Class, and Political Geographies of Same Sex Marriage in Georgia" (abstract below).

The intense debate over same sex marriage is replete with competing visions of 'moral' and cultural landscapes. We examine this issue in an electoral context as it played out in the state of Georgia in 2004, first in the state legislature and then in a statewide referendum. In analyzing the socio-spatial patterns within the state, we direct attention to two issues and their impact on the voting outcome. The first is African American discourse in supporting or opposing the amendment, in terms of same sex marriage as a civil rights issue or as a conservative religious 'moral' issue. Secondly, we look at how Richard Florida's thesis of the 'creative class' has influenced the spatial outcome of the vote in terms of intersections of the political-economy and local culture. Both discourses are linked with the so-called 'culture wars' raging across American society as a whole, and they help illustrate some unique geographies that play out within a local context.

Among their findings, they found a very strong and significant negative correlation between the Creative Class in a region and the percentage of the population who voted in favor of Georgia's anti-same sex marriage constitutional amendment.   (The larger the Creative Class population, the larger the number of people voting against the amendment.)

It seems that once again actual results point to Creative Class populations living hand-in-glove with regional tolerance...

posted by Kevin Stolarick

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