Friday, April 17, 2009

Buycott The Big Four!

Last Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court, unanimously decided that the state's law banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional - and in doing so, became the third state to grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

It's actually not that surprising that Iowa is at the forefront of marriage equality, as the state has a long history of leadership on civil rights issues. In 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a slave becomes free upon stepping foot on Iowa soil. And in 1868, the Court ruled against "separate but equal" segregation in schools - a full 85 years before the United States Supreme Court came to the same decision. The next year, in 1869, Iowa became the first state to permit women to practice law. Located in the very heart of the this country, Iowa does in many ways represent the very best of the American ideal - friendly, tolerant, practical. It's not the extremist America that we are exposed to everytime we turn on the tv. It's the real "silent majority." The people who hold and practice a live and let live worldview.

On Tuesday, Vermont became the fourth state to recognize marriage equality.

I think it's important, especially during these economic times, to spend money wisely. And, right now, I can't think of a better way to spend money than to purposefully buy products and services that support the working people of the four states that now offer a welcoming handshake to all Americans. A sort of thank you BUYcott.

Here's a very incomplete list of companies based in the Big Four Equality states, as well as a few travel points of interest.

Companies based in Connecticut: Aetna, Bevin Bells, Bigelow Tea, Bob's Discount Furniture, Cannondale Bicycles, Crabtree & Evelyn, Dooney & Bourke, Duracell, Ethan Allen, Harney & Sons Teas, Hartford Financial Services, Hosmer Mountain Soda, Newman's Own, PriceRite,, Subway, Time Warner Cable, United Natural Foods, World Wrestling Entertainment

Companies based in Massachusetts: 3Com, BJ's Wholesale Club, Autonomie Project, Aubuchon Hardware, Bertucci's, Brigham's Ice Cream, Cape Cod Potato Chips, Casual Male, Cherrybrook Kitchen, Converse, Cumberland Farms, Digital Federal Credit Union, Dunkin' Donuts, Friendly's, Filene's Basement, Bent's Cookie Factory, Gazelle, Gentle Giant Moving Company, Honey Dew Donuts, Independent Fabrication Bikes, Jordan's Furniture, Lycos, Massachusetts Bay Trading Company, Ninety Nine Restaurant, Ocean Spray, Papa Gino's, Rockport, Saucony, Stop & Shop, Tea Forte, Upromise, Welch's, Yankee Candle Company

Companies based in Vermont: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Bruegger's, Building Green, Burton Snowboards, Cabot Cheese, Fine Paints of Europe, Green Mountain Coffee, King Arthur Flour, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Long Trail Brewing, Magic Hat Brewing Company, Maple Landmark Woodcraft, Otter Creek Brewing, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Rhino Foods, Stave Puzzles, Vermont Country Store

Friends of mine, Peter and George, at Miami Beach Pride, who have been together for 65 years. Photo by Jason Weaver.

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