PageOneQ and Raw Story captured the following segment off CNN’s morning news on Saturday, June 23, 2007.
I’m sure you noticed, just as well as I did, that Charlotte, NC, is listed among those cities least-friendly toward LGBT workers and citizens.
This doesn’t bode well for Charlotte’s future economic and political well-being if the results of Richard Florida’s study are correct… and I am going to bet they are.
Time and time again, we have seen study after study show that the most economically and politically significant cities are those which welcome LGBT people into the workplace and into the general happenings of society.
Even in such conservative places as my hometown – Winston-Salem, NC – businesses have learned that welcoming LGBT employees means much good for their business. Traditionally conservative R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (now officially known as ReynoldsAmerican, Inc., after their merger with Britain’s Brown & Williamson) has taken steps to protect employees based on sexual orientation and offer domestic partnership benefits.
What amazes me is my hometown’s dream of becoming the second “Research Triangle.” In the eastern part of Downtown Winston-Salem, the city government, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are working over time to create a new research park.
How do they expect to garner workers and new, bright talent if this city – and others like Charlotte – remain so unfriendly toward LGBT people.
The friendliness level of a city toward LGBT people is just one measure of a city’s economic and political well-being. We know that multiple trends tend to follow each other. The acceptance of LGBT people in public life and in the community definitely follows economic well-being. We also know that younger talent follows as well. And I’m going to assume that Winston’s desire to re-make our downtown area and create the new research park would benefit from younger talent and a more welcoming environment for LGBT folks.