To my sister: You and your partner have been talking about leaving Michigan. A place to consider is Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is a beautiful area (I've visited), the state has marriage equality, and the city just elected a gay mayor, Javier Gonzales. One of his opponents, Patti Bushee, is a lesbian. She and another lesbian, Signe Lindell, are two of eight members of the City Council. It sounds like a great place to live.
Whether Santa Fe is affordable is another matter.
The New York Times has a cool video showing how much the snow has persisted on the ground in the city this winter. It has been "stubborn." Then it has a few charts showing the depth of snow on the ground over the last several years. This year may not have record snowfalls, but it is right up there on how long that snow has stuck around.