Council Bluffs has been a great place to visit and live before Abraham Lincoln visited in 1859. In 2007 about 10 million visitors enjoyed our many attractions. Many will make Council Bluffs their new home, attracted by business opportunities and the good life.
Two events occurred in 2007 that helped thrust Iowa and Council Bluffs to the forefront of equality for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
First, on May 25th 2007 Governor Culver signed into law protections for gays and lesbians in housing, employment, public accommodation and education. This antidiscrimination law made sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes under Iowa law. It also allows GLBT folks to report acts of discrimination to the Iowa Civil Right Commission.
On August 30th, 2007, Polk County District Court Judge Robert Hanson ruled in favor of marriage equality. He put a stay on his ruling the following day until the Iowa State Supreme Court ruled in the case.
On March 24th, 2008 the Council Bluffs City Council voted 4 to 1 to adopt the antidiscrimination law into city code. GLBT citizens in Council Bluffs can now report acts of discrimination to the Council Bluffs Civil Rights Commission. It is also a highly symbolic vote. The City of Council Bluffs values and respects its GLBT residents.
On April 3rd, 2009, the Iowa State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that gay and lesbian couples had the constitutional right to marry. The ruling took effect on April 27, 2009 after the mandatory waiting period for Supreme Court decisions to go into effect.
These strides toward full equality are reason enough to move to Council Bluffs. Here is a list of all the reasons to move to Council Bluffs:
- Full marriage equality for gays and lesbians
- Both spouses of a gay and lesbian couple can adopt
- Sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes (GLBT folks cannot be discriminated against)
- Easier to influence local elections due to smaller population (San Francisco of the midwest)
- Easier to deal with local government
- All services are closer to home (Post Office, City Hall, grocery stores, schools)
- Close proximity to downtown Omaha and the Omaha larger metropolitan area
- Easy commutes (even to Omaha, no reason to leave jobs in Omaha)
- Lower property, auto and sales tax rates
- No wheel tax / truck license $75 per year
- Council Bluffs has largest inventory of remaining Victorian homes in Iowa
- Lower crime rate than Omaha
- Affordable housing
- Low unemployment rate
- Council Bluffs is rich in history
- Hilly east end resembles San Francisco
- Council Bluffs located in scenic and geologically rare Loess Hills
- Recognized as one of Iowa’s Great Places in 2007 (Department of Cultural Affairs)
- Named Iowa’s Community of the Year in 2007 by Iowa Tourism Office
- Cultural hub of the midwest with the casinos and the Mid-America Center