Bil Browning

Indy to benefit from Oklahoma anti-gay sentiments?

Filed By Bil Browning | April 16, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: economic policy, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, homophobic behavior, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Economic Development Agency, Oklahoma City, Sally Kern

The next time I tell the right wingers that Indiana's lack of gay rights (and outright hostility towards the gay community by some legislators) are driving away economic development maybe they'll listen. Perhaps benefitting from a homophobic rant by an Oklahoma legislator will get them to look past their prejudices to their pocketbooks.

Once they realize it can affect their money, you see, I'll finally get my rights.

Tom Maloney, vice president of California-based Staubach Co., would neither confirm nor deny that the 1,000-employee, AAA-rated client company's top executive is a lesbian who expressed concern over Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern's recent anti-homosexual statements, as has been the topic circulating among local business leaders.

Roy Williams, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said the issue is a major concern the chamber is trying to address. He confirmed a Staubach consultant was troubled by Kern's comments during a recent visit to the city.

"He told us straight up ... 'I cannot recommend to any of my clients that they should consider Oklahoma City because of that,'" Williams said. "When you have one of the nation's premier relocation experts making those statements, you should pay attention to that and not dismiss it.

Jeb Conrad, executive director of the Indianapolis Economic Development agency, confirmed Indianapolis is also a finalist for the same financial services office relocation.

"Indianapolis and Oklahoma City both have some good insurance and back-office opportunities, and very similar cost factors and real estate, versus the cost element that's associated with San Francisco. From my understanding from the consultant, we've both put pretty good deals on the table," Conrad said.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 17, 2008 1:55 AM

Bil, is it not ironic that Sally Kern is on the Chamber of Commerce? I mentioned a day or so ago on the previous posting that the best way is to go after her sources of financial support.

Money and Politics. Who could have guessed a connection?

Although I still think "Sally Kern Hates us" free hot dogs outside of a local TV station and a "Sally Kern Hates us" family picnic with PFLAG and associated organizations participating would be a lot of fun.

You would know better than I in Thailand, but have PFLAG chapters around the US been visiting the PR departments of all companies that have subsidiaries in Oklahoma?

Cincinatti learned that the hard way as well.

We discovered this in Louisville during our successful 2004 fight to reauthorize the Fairness Ordinance.

Cincy's decade long anti-gay stance in the 90's cost them $600 million and two potential corporate headquarters relocations.

It also cost them a chance to be the US bid city for the 2012 Olympic Games that were awarded to London. Cincy was one of the first cities cut, and their anti-gay attitudes were cited as one of the reasons.