Michigan Supreme Court rules sexual orientation protected by civil rights law
LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday that sexual orientation is protected under the state’s civil rights law, delivering a big win for LGBTQ rights. They argued the Michigan Department of Civil Rights did not have authority to investigate claims of LGBTQ discrimination under the 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Michigan Supreme Court will soon decide. More on MLive:Sexual orientation is protected under civil rights law, AG Nessel argues to Michigan Supreme CourtWedding venue that declined to host same-sex marriage ceremony sues Michigan Department of Civil RightsDoes Michigan’s civil rights law apply to LGTBQ people? Michigan Supreme Court will decide.mlive.com
Georgia man sentenced to death for killing guards dies of apparent suicide in prison
Ricky Dubose, a Georgia man who was recently sentenced to death in the killings of two corrections officers, has died in prison of an apparent suicide. Dubose fatally shot the guards five years ago during an attempted escape.news.yahoo.com
June is officially LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Bay City this year, after mayor issues proclamation
BAY CITY, MI - Bay City took a step to celebrate Pride Month by issuing a special proclamation to recognize the LGBTQ+ community. Mayor Kathleen Newsham issued a proclamation during the Monday, June 20 meeting declaring June LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Bay City. Great Lakes Bay Pride is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year as well as the return of the Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Newsham’s proclamation, Bay City residents were encouraged to celebrate the upcoming anniversary and celebration for Great Lakes Bay Pride with the LGBTQ+ community. Read more on MLiveGreat Lakes Bay Pride Festival returning for Pride Month 2022Great Lakes Bay Pride celebrates Pride Month and 20 years of advocacy, communitymlive.com
Gay bars once thrived in Saginaw, but none remain. LGBTQ+ advocates seek a revival.
For decades, gay bars served as premiere gathering spaces for adults identifying as LGBTQ+. “There are amazingly wonderful pockets of acceptance and inclusion in our region,” said Lee Ann Keller, president of the board of directors for the LGBTQ+-centric nonprofit, Great Lakes Bay Pride. Even before he came out as homosexual in his late 30s, Romo understood the importance of gay bars and clubs to members of that community historically in his hometown. Scott Ellis, the 31-year-old executive director of Great Lakes Bay Pride, was a patron at The Mixx when drag queen appearances attracted crowds that packed the building. “Queer bars across the country, unfortunately, I think ran their lifespan in smaller urban areas like Saginaw,” said Ellis, who is gay.mlive.com
MDHHS task force to assess obstacles facing LGBTQ+ families wanting to adopt
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is forming a task force within the department to support LGBTQ+ families who want to foster or adopt children. The MiFamily Advancement and Leadership for LGBTQ+ Youth (ALLY) and Families task force will assess how the child welfare system supports LGBTQ+ families, engage the LGBTQ+ community and learn from their perspectives, and make recommendations for how the department can best serve these families. Related: LGBTQ+ couples can be denied adoptions by religious agencies under latest MDHHS settlement - mlive.comIn both cases, the faith-based adoption agencies challenged the MDHHS non-discrimination policy which stated adoption agencies with state contracts can’t turn away prospective LGBTQ+ parents. Peter Spadafore and Dr. Stacie Gibson will co-chair the task force. Other members of the task force will be announced soon, according to MDHHS.mlive.com
Kalamazoo Pride festival to be celebrated in June at Arcadia Creek Festival Place
KALAMAZOO, MI — OutFront Kalamazoo, one of Michigan’s largest LGBTQ+ community centers, announced Tuesday that its annual pride festival will once again be held in person in June 2022. After two years of virtual celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kalamazoo Pride will take place June 3-4 at Arcadia Creek Festival Place, at 145 E. Water St. in Kalamazoo, the organization announced in a news release. “This year’s pride (festival) is a critical one,” said OutFront Kalamazoo Executive Director Amy Hunter. Since the start of the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement in the 1970s, independent pride events have sprung up worldwide. “For two years, we hosted a virtual pride (festival) to keep our community safe,” Hunter said.mlive.com
Legacy House to offer transitional housing for homeless LGBTQ+ youth in Kalamazoo
KALAMAZOO, MI — OutFront Kalamazoo is in the process of preparing to open Kalamazoo’s first long-term transitional housing facility that will cater primarily to LGBTQ+ youth. The nonprofit organization, which serves the region’s LGBTQ+ community, purchased the property in December for $25,000 from the Kalamazoo Public Housing Commission, according to Kalamazoo County property records. The organization expects to be ready to house its first residents in the space this spring, OutFront Kalamazoo executive director Amy Hunter told MLive/The Kalamazoo Gazette. Multiple community partners — including LISC Kalamazoo, The Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and Kalamazoo Community Foundation — worked with the Kalamazoo Public Housing Commission to renovate the property after the housing commission purchased it in 2020, Hunter said. The housing commission, she said, used grant funds to purchase the home in 2020.mlive.com
OutFront Kalamazoo seeks nominations to recognize those working for LGBTQ+ equality locally
KALAMAZOO, MI — Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution to the work of LGBTQ+ equality in Southwest Michigan in the past year? Nominations for recipients of the 2022 #AlwaysOutFront Awards are being accepted online beginning Tuesday, Feb. 1. “We are excited to have our AlwaysOutFront Awards ceremony in person this year with COVID precautions in place,” said Amy Hunter, executive director of OutFront Kalamazoo, in a statement. “We encourage the community to nominate those individuals who have helped LGBTQ+ individuals so that we may acknowledge and honor them.”The annual awards began being presented out in 2009. Prior honorees or individuals who currently serve on the staff or board of directors of OutFront Kalamazoo are ineligible for nomination.mlive.com
LGBTQ+ couples can be denied adoptions by religious agencies under latest MDHHS settlement
It limits MDHHS’s ability to enforce its non-discrimination policy under certain circumstances, including the agencies’ right to decline LGBTQ+ couples looking to adopt or foster children on religious grounds. Under the prior settlement, adoption agencies could deny adoption services to LGBTQ+ people only if the children involved were not referred to them by the state. Now, faith-based adoption agencies are once again able to deny service to LGBTQ+ couples if they believe there is a conflict with their religious values. MDHHS said it will soon announce plans to further build upon its engagement with LGBTQ+ families including assessment of any service gaps or program enhancements necessary to meet the needs of LGTBQ+ families. “I applaud MDHHS’s commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ families and our state’s most vulnerable children,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel.mlive.com
Mormon billionaire resigns, rebukes faith over LGBTQ rights
A billionaire who is believed to be the wealthiest person originally from Utah has formally resigned his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and rebuked the faith over social issues and LGBTQ rights. Jeff T. Green has pledged to donate 90% of his estimated $5 billion advertising-technology wealth, starting with a donation to a LGBTQ-rights group in the state, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Green said he hasn’t been active in the faith widely known as Mormon for more than a decade but wanted to make his departure official and remove his name from membership records, he said in a Monday letter to church President Russell M. Nelson.news.yahoo.com
OutFront Kalamazoo launches fundraising drive to support LGBTQ+ programs and services
KALAMAZOO, MI — OutFront Kalamazoo has its sights set on unifying all members of the community to help improve the lives of LGBTQ+ youth and adults. Funds raised from the drive will help pay for the organization’s LGBTQ+ educational programs and services in 2022. “For nearly two years, so much of our lives have been on hold,” said OutFront Kalamazoo Executive Director Amy Hunter. “Now, as the pandemic recedes and daily life discovers a new version of normal, OutFront Kalamazoo must find new solutions to the real-life issues faced by LGBTQ+ youth and adults in our area. “Every gift makes a difference and helps ensure forward movement in advocacy, programming, support services and housing for the LGBTQ+ community.mlive.com
200 rally in Kalamazoo, demand more support for LGBTQ+ community
KALAMAZOO, MI – People gathered in Bronson Park Saturday to call for more support for the LGBTQ+ community. The rally was held to demand change for the inequalities and disparities the LGBTQ+ community faces, according to rally organizer OutFront Kalamazoo’s website. Awareness about the disparities in health, employment, education and more increased during the health and economic crisis in the last 18 months, OutFront Kalamazoo noted on its website. The rally was held to “reenergize, reunite and raise our voices to demand change,” according to the rally website. Related: Kalamazoo Pride events kick off with virtual awards ceremony Friday nightOutFront Kalamazoo held June 2020 and 2021 Pride events virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.mlive.com
Jim Toy Community Center to close office, starts GoFundMe campaign
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Jim Toy Community Center announced Tuesday that the doors of its physical office space, located at 319 Braun Court, would close at the end of January. Jim Toy Community Center has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with the expenses of the volunteer-run nonprofit. If you can, please help by contributing to the GoFundMe Campaign to ensure a vibrant and active countywide #LGBTQ resource center exists in the future. After the Jim Toy Community Center board of directors meeting in December, Joe Schoch was elected as board president in 2021. He is replacing Travis Radina, who was elected as an Ann Arbor City Council member representing Ward 3 in November.
Show us your Pride to celebrate National Coming Out Day
Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, and for many LGBTQ+ Americans, there are many reasons to celebrate their Pride. National Coming Out Day has been celebrated for 32 years now, and it’s an important reminder on just how far the queer community has come since earlier times. There was an entire generation of LGBTQ Americans who had live inside the closet because of laws and discrimination. So if you’re proud to be out and want it to shout it from the rooftops, tell us about it below! If you have advice for people still in the closet struggling with their identity, maybe offer some advice, and tell us how your life has improved since coming out.
6 Metro Detroit events to celebrate National Coming Out Day
Observe National Coming Out Day by joining in on the festivities happening around Metro Detroit. It's National Coming Out Day and luckily Detroit is not short of things to do in support of our LGBTQ+ community. "The goal is to erase shame, stigma and to help end violence," the Facebook event page states. Okay, so this isn't an event explicitly celebrating National Coming Out Day, but it was one of the first major productions that portrayed homosexuality in an honest and open manner. More information: Facebook event.
6 Metro Detroit events to celebrate National Coming Out Day
It's National Coming Out Day and luckily Detroit is not short of things to do in support of our LGBTQ+ community. More information: Today@WayneNational Coming Out Day at the Marvin Lee BuildingWhen: 5:30 p.m.Where: LGBT Detroit, 20025 Greenfield Rd., DetroitAn all-day discussion dedicated to exploring the facets of the community. "The goal is to erase shame, stigma and to help end violence," the Facebook event page states. Okay, so this isn't an event explicitly celebrating National Coming Out Day, but it was one of the first major productions that portrayed homosexuality in an honest and open manner. More information: Facebook event.
Flashpoint 6/23/19: A look at Michigan's economy, what's being done to protect LGBTQ+ community
DETROIT Here is what you missed on Sunday's episode of Flashpoint:We took a closer look at Michigan's report card as we mark Pride Month. Looking at the presidential race, is America ready for a gay president complete with a first husband, or is that enough to disqualify Pete Buttigieg from serious consideration? We put together a fascinating roundtable of voices from those who walk that walk every day. Segment One:Richard Czuba, founder, Glengariff Group, Inc; Nancy Schlichting, MSU Board of Trustees; Jeynce Poindexter, Victims Advocate, Equality Michigan and Buzz Thomas of Thomas Group Consulting. Segment Two:Lou Glazer, President, Michigan Future, Inc.
YouTube sued for allegedly discriminating against LGBTQ community
Alex Joseph, a spokesperson for YouTube, told CNN Business in a statement that all content on its site is subject to the same policies. The lawsuit also claims YouTube denied an LGBTQ news show the right to advertise and thereby increase its viewership on the platform. According to the lawsuit, YouTube apologized to Divino for what they said was a "misunderstanding" and eventually agreed to run the ad. Tensions between YouTube and some members of the LGBTQ community have repeatedly surfaced in recent years. At the time, YouTube told CNN Business: "We're proud of the incredible LGBTQ+ voices on our platform and take concerns like these very seriously."