Still can't keep herself from insulting flyover hicks' aping of bi-coastal political fashions:
"Utah — yes, Utah — passes landmark LGBT rights bill" (link)
None of this will be news to readers here (search earlier posts for gay Utah).
People not familiar with the region assume that having your state colored red means more or less the same thing no matter where you are. But the entire West used to be colored red, despite its Frontier inheritance of footloose novelty-seeking. It has never been a place that valued tradition and rootedness. But hey, they voted for Nixon and Reagan, so that's all we need to know.
The inter-mountain West is rapidly being absorbed by the West Coast, largely through attitude changes from within, although being exacerbated by all the West Coast refugees colonizing the cheaper land away from the beach.
(I think the shift from the surf culture to the outdoors / ski / snowboard culture over the past several decades stems from West Coast culture-makers rationalizing their exodus out of their suntanned paradise and into the snowcapped Rockies. Framing it as a life mission to discover the most epic peak to ski down must alleviate cognitive dissonance better than admitting that your old panoramic shorelines got too over-crowded, over-priced, and over-spicked.)
So, which regions does that leave as relative sanctuaries for common sense and deafness to the call toward status-striving? Check out two maps showing gay anti-discrimination laws by state: one for employment and one for housing.
The Plains states are still in the clear, although you worry about the Dakotas being pulled within the orbit of their Scandinavian weenie center-of-mass next door in Minnesota. Nebraska is also home to too many indie record labels to be confident that it won't drift within the orbit of their "please love us" farmer-striver neighbors in Iowa. Kansas and Oklahoma seem safer, although Texas is a bit too materialistic and libertarian to view it as a bastion of conservatism.
The good ol' Deep South is holding out very well for now, but the pro-homo marriage ruling in Alabama points to the difficulty in maintaining solidarity among like-minded folks in the midst of toxic diversity levels in the environment.
That leaves Appalachia, which has ignored the legal trend in housing, and in employment has allowed no special treatment, or special treatment only for state employees rather than all employees, and in Ohio only for fags and not trannies. If you review the history, several states in this region have actually repealed earlier successes of pro-homo legislation, resulting in more of a tug-of-war rather than the final defeat in the flanking regions of the East Coast and Midwest.
States to watch are those torn between the core of the Midwest that runs from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee to Chicago to St. Louis, and those with much of their land in the Appalachian chain that runs from Pittsburgh to Knoxville to Birmingham.
Indiana and Michigan are not as airheadedly desperate for acceptance as the area farther west, whose main football teams are thinly veiled promotions of homosexuality -- the Packers and the Bears. But then they're not as ornery and ready-to-fight as the hillbillies to their south and east. Ohio so far has been leaning more toward its hillbilly and Amish side than to its defeatist Midwestern side.
The good thing to result from this national assault on common sense, normality, and tradition is that it is putting each locality to a test and revealing their inner nature as they choose one reaction or another. This will facilitate the de-nationalization of our over-bloated economy and polity into more sensible regions. Showing their true colors makes it simple to identify who your people are, and who are not.