“Gary Glenn of Midland, who helped lead the campaign that (supported) Proposal 2, is president of the American Family Association of Michigan, a nonprofit group that he said is supported by 3,300 individuals and churches across the state. ‘We believe as a matter of public policy that Michigan should join those states that exclusively limit adoption or foster-care placement to households headed by a married man and woman,’ Glenn said.”
DETROIT FREE PRESS
September 6, 2005
Forum in Ferndale to offer advice for gay families
Topics include raising children
by Bill Laitner
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
FERNDALE, Mi. — Michigan’s leading city for promoting gay and lesbian viewpoints soon will host a forum that’s sure to rile social conservatives.
The Sept. 14 forum in Ferndale is billed as the first-ever gay and lesbian family town hall, and it aims to advise and encourage gays and lesbians on how to achieve lasting unions and successfully raise children — either through childbirth or adoption.
The free forum at 7 p.m. is not an official program of the City of Ferndale, which each June is home to the largest gay-pride weekend in Michigan, but the forum’s sponsor has leased space in the city’s Kulick Community Center. And the list of speakers includes Ferndale Mayor Robert Porter and City Councilman Craig Covey.
Gays and lesbians are enjoying growing acceptance in other aspects of life — employment, housing and education — but are far from accepted by the public when they form families, said Sean Kosofsky, a spokesman for the Detroit-based Triangle Foundation, a gay-and-lesbian advocacy group sponsoring the family town hall.
“Politically, the right wing is coming after our families,” Kosofsky said last week.
Last November, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Since then, employers, politicians and lawyers litigating a lawsuit to decide the issue have debated whether the proposal should keep public employers — universities, cities, schools and state government — from giving health care benefits to employees’ same-sex partners.
“Everyone agrees that nothing prohibits the private sector from offering these benefits,” Kosofsky said.
Shannon Cuttle of Royal Oak, a teacher in Wayne County, is a volunteer organizing the forum. She plans to have at least 12 speakers —- all authorities in such fields as adoption law, health care benefits, child custody and successful child-raising.
She said most gay and lesbian couples who adopt children must turn to costly procedures in foreign countries because U.S. agencies won’t help them.
Others spend $5,000 to $20,000 to inseminate either a lesbian partner with a donor’s sperm or a surrogate mother with the sperm of one gay partner, she said. Then, as their children grow up, same-sex families face intolerance in “very basic things, like going down to their local recreation department and signing up their child for T-ball,” Cuttle said.
But many people with conservative views think gays and lesbians should not be allowed to adopt or have children.
Gary Glenn of Midland, who helped lead the campaign that (supported) Proposal 2, is president of the American Family Association of Michigan, a nonprofit group that he said is supported by 3,300 individuals and churches across the state.
“We believe as a matter of public policy that Michigan should join those states that exclusively limit adoption or foster-care placement to households headed by a married man and woman,” Glenn said.