This week Michigan Radio is airing a series called Community Vibe. We’re showcasing one interesting thing about different towns across the state.
Today we’ll visit the neighboring communities of Saugatuck and Douglas. They’re artsy, waterfront resort towns in West Michigan. Although Saugatuck-Douglas sits in what’s known to be the Bible belt of the state, it’s also home to a vacation destination to a large gay community. Michigan Radio’s Emily Fox reports on how Saugatuck-Douglas became the gay resort of the Midwest.
Rockford Public Schools has notified elementary school parents about a short mention of a gay character in a book that will be available at its upcoming Scholastic Book Fair.
According to the district's Nov. 10 letter to parents, the plot of the story has a very brief reference to one of the featured characters traveling 20 years into the future to find he is married to another man. The book is the 12th in the Captain Underpants series and is titled "Captain Underpants and The Sensational Saga of Sir-Stinks-A-Lot."
State Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, is attempting to head same-sex marriage off at the pass with a new package of bills that would take secular elected officials out of the marriage business altogether.
A conversation with rabbinical student Matt Green.
Matt Green said that Grindr, perhaps the best-known location-based gay dating app, is not only about looking for love or hookups. It can also be a platform for finding spiritual, or even religious connections.
Hailing from Ann Arbor, Green is a second-year rabbinical student at New York City’s Hebrew Union College. He’s known as “The Grindr Rabbi” and uses Grindr to reach out to gay Jews in New York City.
Green said it all started when he came back from rabbinical school in Israel last year. He downloaded Grindr and posted to his profile that he was on his way to becoming a Rabbi.
Michigan's congressional Democrats are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for federal recognition of the more than 300 same-sex marriages performed in the state this past weekend. The letter is signed by Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, and Reps. John Dingell, Sander Levin, Gary Peters and Dan Kildee.
A judge ruled last Friday that Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, but the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on further same-sex weddings while it deliberates the Michigan marriage case.
Yesterday, Gov. Snyder said the marriages performed over the weekend in Michigan are legal, but they cannot be officially recognized by the state because of current law. Here's what he said:
In January, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the government would honor same-sex marriages in Utah in a case very similar to Michigan's. The Justice Department so far has said it's monitoring the situation in Michigan.
GRANDVILLE, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan member of the Republican National Committee says he's made mistakes but he's not quitting the party post.
Dave Agema issued a statement Friday, hours after chairmen of the Michigan and national Republican Party urged him to step down.
Last March, Agema posted an article on Facebook with an unsubstantiated claim that gays account for half the murders in large cities. He also came under fire from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for a Facebook posting this month questioning Muslims' commitment to charity.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Republicans have taken no official steps to rebuke the kinds of anti-gay comments made recently by GOP National Committee member Dave Agema.
The party's meeting on Saturday in Lansing didn't deal with a measure proposed by western Michigan activist Jason Watts, submitted after the deadline for resolutions. It doesn't mention Agema but disavows the party of "demagogic rhetoric that is incendiary and unbecoming of civil discourse."
"Let's agree to disagree, and then find ways to be witnesses for Christ together."
That is the message of the Gay Christian Network, which calls itself the nation's "largest interdenominational LGBT Christian organization."
The founder of the Gay Christian Network is Justin Lee. He's in West Michigan this week, one of the most "religiously conservative" areas of the state. Last night he spoke at Calvin College and this Friday he will speak at the "Room For All" National Conference at Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.
If you’ve ever read Oliver Twist, or maybe even if you haven’t, you may remember the famous quote about a kink in the judicial system. “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass, an idiot.” Dickens wrote those lines in another country 175 years ago. But things aren’t much different here and now, and as evidence, consider two nurses in suburban Detroit.
Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are Michigan-certified foster parents, and the state is lucky to have them. DeBoer is a nurse in an NICU unit: Neonatal Intensive Care. Rowse, in an emergency room.
They indicated they were willing to foster the hardest cases, babies born premature, drug-addicted, who were either abandoned or taken away from the women who bore them.
Michigan State House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) could be opening the door to extending civil rights protections to gays and lesbians. That would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation in areas such as employment and housing.
The state's civil rights act protects a variety of groups from discrimination. It includes protections for categories like race and age, but sexual orientation has yet to be included.