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Voting with our feet


By Adam Bink

As first noted by Alan E in Quick Hits, University of Michigan professors and staff are considering leaving if legislation passes and is signed by Gov. Snyder that would eliminate domestic partner benefits.

I was listening to NPR this morning, where Diane Rehm did a long segment on the “personhood” initiative set to go to a vote the first Tuesday in November in Mississippi. The initiative would grant all the legal rights to a fertilized egg that the law does to you and me, with no except for rape or the life of the mother. I won’t get into all the details, but the spokesperson for the initiative appeared on the program and admitted, yes, it would make all contraception from commonly used birth control to the morning after pill, yes, a woman could be prosecuted if she tripped down stairs and had a miscarriage, yes, a doctor could be prosecuted for saving the life of the mother instead of letting her hemmorhage to death but saving the fetus.

This isn’t about abortion, but rather about personal choices, like in Michigan. A female student attending the University of Mississippi, originally from Missouri, called in and said if she knew this was going on the ballot, she would have never attended. It spoke volumes about what makes someone finally give up on living or working somewhere because of civil rights.

In the Michigan case, it got me thinking about other organized efforts to leave, or choose not to live or work in, places where one is discriminated against. Arizona and efforts to leave or boycott the state over recent immigration legislation is one example. No doubt, there are plenty of others.

Sometimes, one of the most powerful tools is voting with our feet. A potential economic “brain drain” from the University of Michigan hopefully will force legislators and Gov. Snyder to reconsider their action, though it looks doubtful.


  • 1. Carol  |  October 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Good idea. If enough students and faculty voted with their feet they would likely get the legislature's attention, since Michigan charges out-of-state students a hefty tuition premium for allowing them to get a superior education at an outstanding public school.

  • 2. Alice Cyr  |  October 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    We decided to move to Canada the day after the election of 2004 and have never been happier. Canada is a more peaceful, more civilized and more inclusive nation. Gay marriage is legal, Abortion is legal, Gays can serve openly in our military. Not to mention that we have full health coverage. The US needs to wake up and start living up to its potential.

  • 3. _BK_  |  November 1, 2011 at 7:39 am

    If only everyone could be so lucky, Alice. (:

    How many people here have genuinely considered leaving the United States for another country, such as Canada?

  • 4. Gregory in SLC  |  November 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I have!

  • 5. DaveP  |  October 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I have mixed feelings about the idea of LGBT people leaving a state/university/whatever because of discriminatory legislation or anti-gay rules. If it works, great. But what if it doesn't? If it doesn't directly lead to a change for the better, then there can be a pretty nasty side effect – the LGBT people who leave are the ones who can afford to, and the ones who are left behind are the ones who were already in a bad positition (lower income, lower education, part of another minority in addition to LGBT, etc.). so they are the ones left to endure the discrimination, without the political savvy or financial clout of other better-off LGBTs to help them make things better.

    So it's a gamble, and it's one where the people taking the action are not the ones at risk. Not sure about this.

  • 6. Ronnie  |  October 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    NATIONAL WALK OUT!!!!!!…… DO IT!!!!….. <3…Ronnie

  • 7. Bob  |  October 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I'm with Ronnie,,,, NATIONAL WALK OUT!!!!!!!!! and then walk right in and OCCUPY CHURCHES ,,,,

    I just watched the movie 'THE HELP" highly recommend,,, for where American women were at in the fifties,, and how they're headed back there,,, motivatioanl…

    The struggle is intense, but never never give up,,, OWN your authentic life,, possess it,,,, be the change,,,

  • 8. _BK_  |  November 1, 2011 at 7:40 am

    "Occupy Churches"

    Hmm… now that's an interesting idea…

  • 9. Bob  |  October 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    The only hope we have if this initiative passes (and it's likely to; even the Democratic candidate for governor is afraid to oppose it), is that the consequences of it will be so loony that even the current Supreme Court will find it unacceptable. A rational court would toss it immediately since it present some potential situations that would be impossible to adjudicate acceptably. But with the current crew—who knows?

  • 10. Erika  |  October 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I have already felt like I need to leave the state of Michigan since they refuse to recoginize my upcoming marriage. The only thing keeping me here was the fact that certain companies here will offer domestic partnerships and I thought that shortly after my wedding, I could get into a partnership with my wife and maybe we could stay here for a least a little while longer. Now we literally feel like we are being kicked out of our home here. If this is what it takes though to not be discriminated against pigs like Rick Snyder, we will leave in a heartbeat and come back to this pathetically “behind the times state” when they decide to get on board with the modern LGBT movement and recognize gay marriage!

  • 11. Neil Robertson  |  October 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    There's a parallel here with Alabama's xenophobic immigration laws. They need someone to pick their crops and that has traditionally been done by Hispanics. The laws they passed recently has decimated the supply of labor willing to do the job, and the result is that 50% of the tomato crop is rotting on the vine. Of course, the Republican party hasn't yet connected the dots between their pro-business rhetoric and the anti-business actuality of their immigration policy.

    I can't think of anything else to say, it's all too predictable. The country is in economic trouble so time to blame the immigrants, gays, non-Christians, anything to deflect attention and keep people voting Republican. Sad.

    Cheers, Neil.

  • 12. Ann S.  |  October 31, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    No child of mine will ever live in Mississippi or Alabama or any other state with any of these nonsensical personhood or anti-immigrant laws if I can help it (which I can't once adulthood is reached, I know).

    I'm so sick of conservative women and men screeching about how "abstinence works, every time" and ignoring rape statistics, failure rates of BC, pregnancy complications endangering the life of the mother, etc., etc. They are also anti-Gardasil, because Abstinence! is the only way!

    Wait 'til their kids get to college and go straight to the health center for BC and Gardisil.

  • 13. Alan_Eckert  |  October 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Don't forget that the effectiveness rate of abstinence programs is incredibly low compared to other forms of birth control and STD prevention. Yes, 100% of all instances of "not having sex" will lead to no pregnancy or STD, but 100% of kids (and adults) don't follow this path. Instead, they are more apt to choose risky, non-safe-sex actions because they either don't know about it, know the wrong info about it, or are shamed out of using it. I'll have to find a post I read that analyzed the different effectiveness rates.

  • 14. Alan_Eckert  |  October 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Here it is.

  • 15. Ann S.  |  October 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks, Alan. Great article. Unfortunately I'm confident it wouldn't change the minds of the particular people I'm thinking of. These are people boasting to each other that they refuse to get their daughters the HPV vax because "abstinence works". One of them became an unwed mother at 19. Ironic much?

  • 16. Rich  |  October 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Voting with our feet and being effective with our arguments….I don't know what is happening on "The Ruth Institute" blog site (NOM) but in just the 4 or so days that I have found other much more important things to pursue, the site seems to have gone into lockdown mode. Comments are closed and the newer posts are all about the newfound assertion of religious persecution. Nothing new here but the defenders seem to have retreated into oblivion since the majority of responders were critical of their positions. When the site opens up again, let's keep up the pressure. Somethings happening.

  • 17. Bryce  |  October 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I chose Georgetown over Brown, in part because I can't get married in Rhode Island, but I can in DC.
    …Now I just gotta get me a man!

  • 18. Str8Grandmother  |  November 1, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I HOPE you do Bryce, I hope you do.

  • 19. Eric  |  October 31, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Will personhood also apply to “anchor fetuses”?

  • 20. JacobRD  |  October 31, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Off topic, but:

    "P.S. Donors who give $100 or more must be publicly listed on our campaign finance reports. Please give as generously as you can—whether it's $99, $50, $25, or even more, if you are willing and able to make a public stand in support of marriage. Don't let these turncoat senators get away with their tricks!"

    This is the first time I've seen NOM post that.

  • 21. Ronnie  |  October 31, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    ROFL… Those are some funny hollow words coming from the National Organization for Malevolence aka turncoat humans. They are the ones that will not get away with their evil tricks!… Yes I'm still heated.
    >I …Ronnie

  • 22. Ronnie  |  October 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    This is the extremely violent, extremely dangerous, extremely hateful, extremely inhuman America NOM et al & their Hitler wannabe pal Rick Perry is creating & perpetuating….

    Gay Man Stabbed, Beaten, Burned in Hate Crime in Rural Texas:

    "Burke Burnett said he was at a private party at about 1 a.m. when four men suddenly attacked him, stabbing him at least twice with a broken beer bottle before throwing him onto a fire. His attackers yelled things like “pu**y-ass fa**ot,” “gay bitch” and “c*ck-sucking punk,” Burnett said.

    Burnett said it took 30 stitches to close stab wounds to his back and forearm, as well as a cut above his left eye. He also sustained second-degree burns and severe bruises.

    “They knew I was gay,” Burnett said Monday. “I’m convinced they were trying to kill me.”

    Jeff Sugg, interim chief of the Reno Police Department, released a statement Monday afternoon saying: “The Reno Police Department is currently investigating an aggravated assault that took place last weekend. The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be provided when available.”

    Burnett says he knows his attackers and was heckled at the party before the assailants began throwing punches. He is staying with a friend and says he's scared to go home, and scared it will "get brushed under the rug" in his small conservative town."

    (me) Thank (enter your higher power here), he is alive & safe…..Now; I'm sorry, but how many anti-gay heterosexual NOM supporters have been stabbed, beat, & thrown into a fire?….. What's that?…. ZERO?????!!!! How many heterosexuals has any of that happened to just for being straight? …. What's that? …. ZERO?!!!!…….. But that can't be. The prop H8 witnesses, supporters, NOM et al etc. etc. etc. are in "danger"<—BULLSHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!…… Maybe Maggie G's "'Marriage' Anti-decency Alliance" joke can interview the animalistic homicidal neanderthals on why they tried to kill an innocent human being……I hope they get charged to the fullest extent for their attempted murder… If the local police do not throughly punish these animals, violating Federal Law, then we need to get the FBI involved. These animals do not belong amongst real humans. They belong in a cage… & yes I will call them animals because real humans do not stab, beat, & throw innocent people in fires on purpose for no reason at all. OMFGAHHH. This has me so f-ing heated…. XI….Ronnie

  • 23. Steven  |  October 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Actually, CA Supreme Court has until December 1st to hand down their decision on standing issue. The 90th (December 5th) day is Sunday and they only release decisions on Mondays and Thursdays..

  • 24. _BK_  |  November 1, 2011 at 7:42 am

    If that's true, I didn't know that. Thanks.

  • 25. Michael Herman  |  November 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

    We have a similar Initiative Petition circling around here in Oregon. I plan on fighting it to the death. NO ONE messes with my wife's rights.

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