LGBT http://michiganradio.org en Despite waffling, Snyder did join call to add LGBT protections to state's civil rights law http://michiganradio.org/post/despite-waffling-snyder-did-join-call-add-lgbt-protections-states-civil-rights-law <p>This week at the annual Detroit Regional Chamber’s policy conference on Mackinac Island, Governor Snyder joined the chorus of people calling for an update to Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act to include protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people… sort of.</p><p>There is a lot of spoon-feeding to the press here on the Island – a litany of press conferences and media scrums. And, yesterday, one of those press conferences was held by a group of business leaders who want LGBT protections rolled into the civil rights law.</p><p>Meanwhile, at almost the exact same time as these business leaders were making their announcement, the Governor was talking to us, telling us he thought the legislature ought to take the issue up.</p><p>But, did he actually endorse it? “I’m encouraging them to say there’s been a lot of dialog and discussion on this. It’s been healthy in the public and I think it could be an appropriate topic for the legislators to take up. I would appreciate that,” the Governor said. And, that statement is fairly typical of the multiple exchanges we had with the governor on this topic.</p><p> Fri, 30 May 2014 18:32:01 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 17810 at http://michiganradio.org Despite waffling, Snyder did join call to add LGBT protections to state's civil rights law Christian leaders speak up for same-sex marriage: "We stand with the God of compassion" http://michiganradio.org/post/christian-leaders-speak-same-sex-marriage-we-stand-god-compassion <p>A group of Metro Detroit clergy leaders stood together Thursday to send a clear message: They support same-sex marriage and equal rights for LGBT people.</p><p>They also strongly condemned some of their fellow Michigan Christian leaders who are fighting to uphold the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>Last week, a group of about 200, mostly Michigan-based black pastors declared that “the fight is on” to protect “traditional” marriage.</p> Fri, 23 May 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17730 at http://michiganradio.org Christian leaders speak up for same-sex marriage: "We stand with the God of compassion" Religious groups say 'The fight is on' over same-sex marriage http://michiganradio.org/post/religious-groups-say-fight-over-same-sex-marriage <p>A coalition of about 200 mostly Michigan-based black pastors says “the fight is on” when it comes to same-sex marriage.</p><p>A federal judge overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage earlier this year. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has appealed that ruling, and it’s now headed to the US 6<sup>th</sup> Circuit court of appeals.</p><p>The pastors <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140514/NEWS05/305140165/black-ministers-oppose-gay-marriage">condemned the ruling in an event at First Baptist International World Changers churc</a>h in Detroit Wednesday.</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 00:17:54 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17611 at http://michiganradio.org Religious groups say 'The fight is on' over same-sex marriage Michigan business group calls for an end to discrimination against gays http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-business-group-calls-end-discrimination-against-gays <p>There is a growing chorus in Michigan to stop employment discrimination against gays.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The latest challenge is coming from Business Leaders for Michigan.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As part of its 2014 Michigan Turnaround Plan, the group is challenging Michigan leaders to pass an anti-discrimination law that includes protections for&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">workers.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Current state law does nothing to protect against this type of discrimination.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In Michigan, it is completely legal to discriminate against LGBT&nbsp;people. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/why-it-legal-discriminate-against-lgbt-people-michigan-part-1">explained why</a> this type of discrimination is legal in the state:</span></p><p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 18:57:23 +0000 Stateside Staff 17421 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan business group calls for an end to discrimination against gays Michigan gay marriage appeal will follow usual track http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-gay-marriage-appeal-will-follow-usual-track <p>DETROIT – A federal appeals court won't give special treatment to Michigan's dispute over gay marriage.</p><p>The court says the state's appeal of a decision overturning a ban on same-sex marriage will follow the usual course. The case will be heard by a three-judge panel, probably later this year.</p><p>Attorney General Bill Schuette wanted the full court to leapfrog the panel and take the appeal. But there's no interest from judges at the Cincinnati-based court.</p><p>A brief order unanimously rejecting Schuette's request was filed&nbsp;Monday.</p><p>More than 300 same-sex couples were married in March after a Detroit federal judge said Michigan's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The appeals court has suspended the decision while the appeal is pending.</p><p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 14:44:21 +0000 The Associated Press 17395 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan gay marriage appeal will follow usual track Saginaw postpones LGBT discrimination ban http://michiganradio.org/post/saginaw-postpones-lgbt-discrimination-ban <p>Saginaw is putting off a decision about whether to have a citywide ban on discrimination based&nbsp;</p><p> on sexual orientation or gender identity. &nbsp;</p><p>The Saginaw Council chambers were packed to capacity, according to the Associated Press.&nbsp;</p><p>But the council voted not to make a decision just yet. A few members said they wanted time to talk with the city's business and religious community.</p><p>But Councilwoman Annie Boensch&nbsp;says she thinks churches will support it, once they understand they're exempted from the ban.</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:33:01 +0000 Kate Wells 17322 at http://michiganradio.org Saginaw postpones LGBT discrimination ban How one Michigan church is changing its views on gay marriage http://michiganradio.org/post/how-one-michigan-church-changing-its-views-gay-marriage <p>There can be little doubt that we are living at a time when our attitudes as a society are undergoing a tremendous shift in what we think of individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.</p><p>Recently, <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/survey-finds-majority-michigan-support-gay-marriage">we spoke on this show</a> with Michigan State University professor Charley Ballard, who directs the state of the state surveys. The most recent MSU survey found, for instance, that 54% of Michiganders support gay marriage, with 36% opposing it.</p><p>Just four years ago, gay marriage was opposed by 51% and favored by 48% of those surveyed.</p><p>That is the view from social science. But what about the view from the pulpit?</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ken Wilson is pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor. The evangelical minister has spent years wrestling with this question:&nbsp; Where do we – as a Christian faith community – draw the line on the gay marriage issue?</span></p><p>His journey to rethinking his beliefs about where LBGT people fit into what he calls “the company of Jesus” is spelled out in his new book “A Letter to my Congregation:&nbsp; An evangelical pastor's path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender into the company of Jesus.”</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:24:22 +0000 Stateside Staff 16828 at http://michiganradio.org How one Michigan church is changing its views on gay marriage The Living Room: Identity and acceptance in West Michigan's LGBT community http://michiganradio.org/post/living-room-identity-and-acceptance-west-michigans-lgbt-community <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Everybody’s got a story. &nbsp;Some are very extraordinary stories. &nbsp;It might be a good for somebody to look into theirs, because a story is the shortest distance between two people.</span></p><p>The Living Room is our ongoing storytelling series, curated by Allison Downey.</p><p>This story is the first in our series about identity and acceptance in West Michigan’s LGBT community.</p><p>Rachel Gleason spent much of youth at her church; worshipping, studying, singing, babysitting.</p><p>The church was her life.</p><p>But that began to change when Rachel started to understand who she really was.</p><p><em>*Listen to Rachel’s story above.</em></p><p><em>Allison Downey curates stories for our ongoing series The Living Room. This story was produced by Zak Rosen. Support was provided by a Kalamazoo Community Foundation grant from the Fetzer Institute Fund.</em></p><p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:45:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 16798 at http://michiganradio.org The Living Room: Identity and acceptance in West Michigan's LGBT community Michigan's witness in gay-marriage trial barred http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-witness-gay-marriage-trial-barred <p><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">DETROIT – The state of Michigan's defense of a ban on gay marriage is off to a rocky start after a judge refused to allow the first witness to testify.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Sherif Girgis is a law student at Yale University and a doctoral candidate at Princeton University. He has written and talked about a historical defense of marriage between a man and a woman.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Federal Judge Bernard Friedman says Girgis will be an expert witness – someday. Friedman says Girgis' opinions won't help him decide this case.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Two Detroit-area women are challenging Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, which was approved by voters in 2004.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">The state attorney general's office is defending the amendment this week and asked for a break&nbsp;</span><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_20005524" style="border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: dashed; border-bottom-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); position: relative; top: -2px; z-index: 0; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ" style="position: relative; top: 2px; z-index: -1;">Monday</span></span><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;to summon another witness.</span></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:21:39 +0000 The Associated Press 16681 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's witness in gay-marriage trial barred Michigan's same-sex marriage trial has political implications for state's GOP http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-same-sex-marriage-trial-has-political-implications-states-gop <p>We are one week, halfway through, the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/lesbian-couples-challenge-michigans-ban-same-sex-marriage-starts-tomorrow">trial in federal court in Detroit</a> centering on the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/meet-couple-challenging-michigans-gay-marriage-ban">challenge </a>to Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The arguments are supposed to go on for another week, and then we’ll wait for the judge’s decision. But the case’s mere existence, the fact that it’s occurring, is having an effect on the political landscape in Michigan.</p><p>And, it should be noted that these hearings are not taking place within a vacuum. Just this week we saw two more gay marriage rulings. Texas’ ban on<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-strikes-down-texas-gay-marriage-ban-paving-way-for-shift-in-conservative-bastion/2014/02/26/201d6cd0-9f1f-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html"> same-sex marriage was struck down</a> and Kentucky was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/27/283508733/federal-judge-rules-kentucky-must-recognize-gay-marriages">ordered to recognize same-sex marriages</a> performed in other states.</p><p>There is also another <a href="http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/02/gov_rick_snyder_asks_federal_j.html">federal case underway</a> here in Michigan that is challenging the state’s refusal to allow live-in partner benefits for public employees. It’s the mechanism that was created to allow same-sex couples to use their benefits to cover partners and children who would otherwise be denied coverage under Michigan’s marriage amendment, approved by voters in a statewide election 10 years ago. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:43:59 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 16667 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's same-sex marriage trial has political implications for state's GOP If Arizona's bill to discriminate surprises you, you won't believe what's legal in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/if-arizonas-bill-discriminate-surprises-you-you-wont-believe-whats-legal-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If the pollsters are right, here’s something you probably don’t know:</span></p><p><em>It’s perfectly legal to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. </em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A Gallup poll reported nearly nine out of ten people think </span>LGBT<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> people are already protected.</span></p><p>They are not.</p><p>Actually, Arizona and Michigan are not that different right now.</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 20:05:19 +0000 Lester Graham 16623 at http://michiganradio.org If Arizona's bill to discriminate surprises you, you won't believe what's legal in Michigan Lesbian couple's challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage starts tomorrow http://michiganradio.org/post/lesbian-couples-challenge-michigans-ban-same-sex-marriage-starts-tomorrow <p>In Michigan, if a homosexual couple adopts children, the legal rights to the children can only be assigned to one parent.</p><p>If something were to happen to the parent with legal rights, the child could be returned to foster care and the surviving parent would have no legal ground to get them back.</p><p>For couple Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who have three adopted children, this fear is one they have had to live with for years.&nbsp;</p><p>Tomorrow, a federal court case will begin that could change things in Michigan.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 19:54:15 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16575 at http://michiganradio.org Lesbian couple's challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage starts tomorrow Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-feb-18-2014 <p></p><p>There are more than 70 virtual currencies in the marketplace.</p><p>You may have heard of the biggest players:&nbsp;Bitcoin, Ripples, and Litecoin, which are taking out the middleman and reinventing the meaning of money. The idea is gaining momentum among college students. Today, we heard how virtual money is opening doors for young Michigan entrepreneurs.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Then, school districts around the nation and right here in Michigan are talking about ways to accommodate transgender students. The ACLU of Michigan's </span>LGBT<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Project (</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman,serif'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px;">lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">is already working on model policies.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And we spoke with some talented Michigan musicians about how their EP (extended play recording) reached No. 2 on the iTunes electronic charts with virtually no promotion.</span></p><p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:50:52 +0000 Stateside Staff 16497 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 Michigan schools are working on becoming more accommodating to transgender students http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-schools-are-working-becoming-more-accommodating-transgender-students <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">How far should a school go to accommodate its transgender students? What federal or state laws and ordinances might impact policies for transgender students?</span></p><p>School districts around the nation are wrestling with these questions, even as parents and civil rights groups mount court challenges against districts whose policies are not supportive of transgender student rights.</p><p>The ACLU of Michigan's LGBT&nbsp;(lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Project is now crafting a comprehensive model policy for transgender students – a policy that could be adopted by local school districts. Jay Kaplan is a staff attorney who is part of this effort, and he joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:40:36 +0000 Stateside Staff 16492 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan schools are working on becoming more accommodating to transgender students Deep Dive Detroit helps start conversations about social justice http://michiganradio.org/post/deep-dive-detroit-helps-start-conversations-about-social-justice <p>What discussions and conversations should we be having around Michigan that we are veering away from?</p><p>What's the price we're paying for not opening up and talking about hot-button issues like racism, poverty, food justice, LGBT rights, and so much more?</p><p>That's what our next guest asked herself, and that led her to co-found <a href="http://deepdivedetroit.com">Deep Dive Detroit</a>. Its mission is to "create a safe place for uncomfortable conversations between disparate groups."</p><p>Co-founder Lauren Hood joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:53:30 +0000 Stateside Staff 16441 at http://michiganradio.org Deep Dive Detroit helps start conversations about social justice Heat on Michigan GOP committeeman for gay, Muslim comments http://michiganradio.org/post/heat-michigan-gop-committeeman-gay-muslim-comments <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - As the Republican National Committee prepares for meetings in Washington this week, Gov. Rick Snyder and other party leaders in Michigan are criticizing repeated anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks by Committeeman Dave Agema.<br /><br />The 64-year-old ex-state representative from western Michigan represents the state on the Republican party's national board.<br /><br />Snyder made a semi-veiled reference to Agema in Thursday's State of the State speech, calling for civil discourse in the public arena.<br /> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 03:13:00 +0000 The Associated Press 16088 at http://michiganradio.org Heat on Michigan GOP committeeman for gay, Muslim comments Republican angst over gay rights in Michigan continues http://michiganradio.org/post/republican-angst-over-gay-rights-michigan-continues <p>The Republican angst over gay rights continues this week.</p><p>Driven and riven by the continuing commentary on the topic by Michigan’s Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema, in this case on AIDS and partner benefits. “Folks they want free medical because they’re dying between the ages of 30 and 44 years old… For me it’s a moral issue. It’s a biblical issue,” Agema told a local Republican holiday gathering last week in West Michigan (thanks to the <em>Herald Palladium</em> for <a href="http://www.heraldpalladium.com/news/local/gay-republican-slams-agema/article_bad05da7-59d5-58c1-b9c0-558ac7d2711b.html">audio of remarks</a>).</p><p>And, as <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/dave-agema">they often do</a>, Agema’s comments have already gotten a lot of attention; inciting what has become a now-predictable ritual of condemnation from Democrats and Republicans. However, Republicans are complaining not so much about what Agema said but, instead, how he said it.</p><p>This is <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/would-rick-snyder-tap-dance-gay-wedding">not the first time</a> that Dave Agema has made comments like this. There is a history here. Agema has always made it plain he considers homosexuality to be nothing but a deviant lifestyle. His detractors say he’s a bigot. His supporters - and he certainly has them within the state Republican Party - say he’s a truth-teller. In fact, former state Representative Jack Hoogendyk, a prominent Tea Party leader, recently called him “a prophet.” Fri, 20 Dec 2013 19:09:45 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 15786 at http://michiganradio.org Republican angst over gay rights in Michigan continues Exploring "Ballroom Culture" in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/exploring-ballroom-culture-detroit <p>What is “Ballroom Culture”? Well, a surface definition might be a culture that centers on a competition where black LGBT individuals dress, dance and vogue - competing for prizes and trophies.</p><p>But there is more to Ballroom Culture as my next guest spells out in his new book "<em>Butch Queens Up In Pumps: Gender, Performance and Ballroom Culture in Detroit</em>.”</p><p>Marlon Bailey is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies at Indiana University. And he brings another perspective to his writing -- that of a black gay man who grew up in Detroit and who was deeply involved in Ballroom Culture.</p><p><em>Listen to the interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:07:35 +0000 Stateside Staff 15775 at http://michiganradio.org Exploring "Ballroom Culture" in Detroit Facebook digs deeper into the adoption of equal sign profile pictures http://michiganradio.org/post/facebook-digs-deeper-adoption-equal-sign-profile-pictures <p>You likely saw it unfold on Facebook earlier this year.</p><p>In late March, Facebook users began changing their profile pics&nbsp;to show their support for gay marriage.</p><p></p><p>Facebook tracked analyzed those changes and found that 2.77 million users in the United States made the switch - and the users who made the switch were more likely to live along the coasts or in the Great Lakes region.</p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 19:15:18 +0000 Mark Brush 15631 at http://michiganradio.org Facebook digs deeper into the adoption of equal sign profile pictures This report highlights how some Michigan cities are supporting the LGBT community http://michiganradio.org/post/report-highlights-how-some-michigan-cities-are-supporting-lgbt-community <p>The Human Rights Campaign released their <a href="http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/municipal-equality-index">2013 Municipal Equality Index (MEI)</a>. The index evaluated cities level of support for&nbsp;LGBT people despite state regulations and policies.</p><p>The index includes 291 cities, or 77,851,822 people.</p><p>Every state capitol was included, as well as the three largest cities in each state. The index also focused on municipalities with the largest public universities, and cities with high proportions of same-sex couples.</p><p></p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 17:43:27 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15370 at http://michiganradio.org This report highlights how some Michigan cities are supporting the LGBT community