Why Iowa Is Targeting Theme Park-Loving Californians


Legal gay marriage is good for state and local economies in so many ways. It’s a boon to the party planning and florist business. It attracts progressive business and their tax dollars. Oh, and it’s also great for tourism! Not only can states like Connecticut and Massachusetts encourage “marriage tourism,” where visitors drop by to get a marriage license before heading home, but states like Iowa are going one step further: Lobbying residents of anti-gay states to move there full time. That’s why Iowa reps were at Gay Days at the Disneyland Resort in a vendor booth trying to convince Californians to head to a land that welcomes them.

Two representatives for three regional visitors bureaus flew out for the three-day Gay Days, when 30,000 partipants roll into town to attend Disneyland. Gay Days is not sponsored by nor discouraged by Disney.

At the booth set up inside Disney’s Grand Californian hotel, gay and lesbian couples sampled wedding cake and posed for photos inside a frame that read, “Just Married … In Iowa City!”

The Iowa representatives took the free photos and supplied the tuxedo jackets and bridal veils. They also handed out brochures touting Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Coralville, among other cities.

They did not, however, have a good answer to the question, “Okay, but is it sunny and warm there 365 days a year?”