Community members demand change after Berkley City Councilman opposes pride block party

Dennis Hennen was repeatedly asked to resign, and some said they would consider a recall

Community members are demanding action Monday night after a Berkley City Councilman opposes the city’s upcoming pride block party, saying he holds deep religious beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. Councilman Dennis Hennen was the only member to vote no on allowing a Pride month block party.

BERKLEY, Mich. – Community members are demanding action Monday night after a Berkley City Councilman opposes the city’s upcoming pride block party, saying he holds deep religious beliefs that homosexuality is wrong.

Councilman Dennis Hennen was the only member to vote no on allowing a Pride month block party.

Hennen explained his no vote by saying he had deeply held religious beliefs that homosexuality was wrong.

He went on to say he wasn’t homophonic because “he felt equally about all kinds of sin.”

Those comments enraged the LGBTQ community and its allies, who came out to Berkley City Hall Monday (June 20) night to demand he resign.

Before the standing-room-only crowd took to the microphone, Hennen apologized.

“I need to learn to speak with more compassion, to reach out to more people when making decisions, and keep my religious views separate from government policies,” said Hennen. “Again, I’m sorry.”

The apology didn’t assuage the crowd’s anger.

“It is difficult to grasp what you meant when you compared our lives and our love to all kinds of sin,” said Jess Worrall. “We’re glad that you now recognize that our community will not tolerate hate from our government, but the harm that you have caused is not so easily undone.”

Hennen was repeatedly asked to resign, and some said they would consider a recall.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.