LGBT en How one Michigan church is changing its views on 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="">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 How one Michigan church is changing its views on gay marriage The Living Room: Identity and acceptance in West Michigan's 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 The Living Room: Identity and acceptance in West Michigan's LGBT community Michigan's witness in 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 Michigan's witness in gay-marriage trial barred Michigan's same-sex marriage trial has political implications for state's GOP <p>We are one week, halfway through, the <a href="">trial in federal court in Detroit</a> centering on the <a href="">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=""> same-sex marriage was struck down</a> and Kentucky was <a href="">ordered to recognize same-sex marriages</a> performed in other states.</p><p>There is also another <a href="">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 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 <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 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 <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 Lesbian couple's challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage starts tomorrow Stateside for 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 Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 Michigan schools are working on becoming more accommodating to 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 Michigan schools are working on becoming more accommodating to transgender students 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="">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 Deep Dive Detroit helps start conversations about social justice Heat on Michigan GOP committeeman for 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 Heat on Michigan GOP committeeman for gay, Muslim comments Republican angst over gay rights in 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="">audio of remarks</a>).</p><p>And, as <a href="">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="">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 Republican angst over gay rights in Michigan continues Exploring "Ballroom Culture" in 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 Exploring "Ballroom Culture" in Detroit Facebook digs deeper into the adoption of 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 Facebook digs deeper into the adoption of equal sign profile pictures This report highlights how some Michigan cities are supporting the LGBT community <p>The Human Rights Campaign released their <a href="">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 This report highlights how some Michigan cities are supporting the LGBT community Lessenberry discusses election highlights <p>This <strong><em>Week in Michigan Politics</em> </strong>Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss some of the highlights from Tuesday's election, including <a href="">the Detroit mayoral race</a>, elections on <a href="">LGBT issues</a>, and proposals to<a href=""> decriminalize marijuana</a>.</p><p></p><p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:36:36 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 15158 at Lessenberry discusses election highlights Royal Oak LGBT vote could be nail-biter <p>On Tuesday, Royal Oak will be the latest city in Michigan to decide whether discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people should be illegal.</p><p>Both sides say it’s going to be thisclose, with voters split just about down the middle.</p><p>Opponents of the proposal are plenty motivated – just the fact that Royal Oak is <em>having</em> this vote is because of their hustle.</p><p>It’s their ability to collect more than the required 746 petitions that put this on the ballot in the first place.</p><p><strong>Group says vote “no” to protect Royal Oak’s businesses </strong></p> Mon, 04 Nov 2013 17:51:25 +0000 Kate Wells 15113 at Royal Oak LGBT vote could be nail-biter A politico's guide to what to look for in next week's elections <p><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Local elections across Michigan are coming Tuesday. And, there are also some interesting races across the country. The results of which politicos and prognosticators will be mining for hints, tips, and adumbrations (<em>yes, we really just did use the word “adumbrations”</em>) of what Election 2014 may have in store.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Elections in 2013, like in 2014, will be in the off-presidential cycle, with similar dynamics in play. Here in Michigan, we’ll have big statewide races next year for governor and U.S. Senator, and two or three congressional races that could be hot. </span></p><p><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">So, for us, 2013 is a kind of scouting report, a chance to look for any developing trends. Similar to January 2010 when Republican Scott Brown’s Senate victory in super-blue Massachusetts was a preview of the November 2010 national GOP blow-out. Brown’s win was seen as an early indicator of the election to come.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">This Tuesday we’ll be watching for anything that defies expectations. </span></p><p><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Republican Chris Christie is expected to win reelection in New Jersey and Democrat Terry McAuliffe is expected to win in Virginia; a state that was once reliably conservative but has become purple as its demographics change. </span></p><p><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">We’ll be watching for both an upset and the margins of victory.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:19px;font-family:'Times New Roman';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">If it’s a blowout, Republican leaders in Michigan will use that as evidence to argue for a more centrist approach to campaigning in 2014: Be conservative, but appeal to the middle. That could make a difference not just in primaries next year, but also the Republican nominating convention - where Tea Partiers have been pretty dominant lately.</span> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 17:40:58 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 15091 at A politico's guide to what to look for in next week's elections Holland's first openly gay council candidate rekindles debate over LGBT protections <p></p><p><em>Watch Holland City Council candidates weigh in on everything from human rights, to public utilities to public safety at a League of Women Voters forum that took place earlier this month at city hall. </em></p><p>A municipal election in the City of Holland is rekindling a debate over laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.</p><p>In June 2011, <a href="">Holland City Council voted 5-4 </a>against a proposal that would have made it illegal for landlords and employers to discriminate based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.</p><p>“City council may not have dealt with this in any kind of public way in the last two and half years, but in the community it has never gone away,” Donald Martin said of the issue.</p><p>Martin is the first openly gay candidate running&nbsp;for Holland City Council. He’s lived in the city for ten years. Fri, 01 Nov 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15080 at Royal Oak to vote on human rights initiative <p>Royal Oak will go to the polls on Nov. 5 to vote on&nbsp; a ballot initiative that proposes adding a human rights ordinance to the city code. The measure is controversial because it calls for protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, among other groups.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Royal Oak's city code does not currently include a non-discrimination clause. The city relies on state and federal protections to prevent discrimination.</span></p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 20:40:39 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15043 at Royal Oak to vote on human rights initiative Stateside for Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 <p>A new study found that students enrolled in online charter schools are not performing as well as students in traditional brick and mortar schools. At the same time the number of virtual schools is growing. On today's show, we talked about the big business of online charter schools.</p><p>And, how do you talk about being gay and Christian? And how should we be talking about it? We spoke to the founder of the Gay Christian Network to learn more.</p><p>And, could eating local save energy and help the planet? We took a closer look at the impact of the local food movement.</p><p>Also, Jen Guerra from Michigan Radio’s State of Opportunity project joined us to give a preview of her upcoming documentary, “The Education Gap.”</p><p>First on the show, i<span style="line-height: 1.5;">s Detroit really broke?</span></p><p>That’s the question before Federal Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes as Detroit’s bankruptcy eligibility trial began today. His ruling could open the door for the City of Detroit blowing up billions of dollars in debt and liabilities.</p><p>As has been the case ever since the bankruptcy filing on July 18<sup>th</sup>, this is all being closely watched from coast to coast. History is being written in Judge Rhodes' courtroom.</p><p>Daniel Howes, Detroit News Business Columnist, and the former Chief of Communications for the City of Detroit, Karen Dumas, joined us today to talk about what this trial means and what we might see.</p><p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:05:17 +0000 Stateside Staff 14968 at Stateside for Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013