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MIRROR — (Ferndale) group raises funds to pass gay rights ordinane

September 15, 2006

Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,

Please read the Royal Oak Mirror article below, then please consider making a special contribution to AFA-Michigan today to assist us in opposing homosexual activists’ latest attempt to impose a discriminatory “gay rights” ordinance on another community in Michigan.

I’d like to donate online.

Or by mail to: AFA-Michigan
Box 1904
Midland, Michigan 48641

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“(City Councilman Craig) Covey, who is gay, said Ferndale’s gay and lesbian community is not adequately protected by the law. But he said he is unaware of any discrimination cases that have come up in the last few years. …In response, the American Family Association of Michigan has decried the proposed ordinance as a way to target religious organizations and other groups who have moral objections to homosexuality. ‘We’ll do anything we can to assist Ferndale residents who are opposed to this discriminatory ordinance,’ said Gary Glenn, the AFA of Michigan’s president.”

THE MIRROR
Royal Oak, Michigan
September 15, 2006

Group raises funds to pass
gay rights ordinance
by Eric Czarnik

FERNDALE — A few thousand dollars could help decide the fate of a Ferndale ordinance that would stop discrimination based on sexual orientation, a gay rights advocacy group said.

In a letter dated Sept. 1, the Ferndale Alliance Valuing Our Residents asked citizens to vote, volunteer and send donations. “Let’s put Ferndale on the map once again, saying emphatically and forever that we are (a) city that rejects division and unfair discrimination,” it said.

Ferndale Councilman Craig Covey, one of FAVOR’s three co-chairs, said the ordinance’s language adds sexual orientation to a list of categories such as race and gender that cannot be used to discriminate in the areas of employment, public accommodation or housing. Michigan law does not include sexual orientation as a protected category, he said.

Covey, who is gay, said Ferndale’s gay and lesbian community is not adequately protected by the law. But he said he is unaware of any discrimination cases that have come up in the last few years.

“I look at this as unfinished business,” he said. “We’re always trying to get folks thinking about new ideas and doing this rights ordinance is absolutely the right thing to do.”

He said this is the third time Ferndale residents have campaigned on this issue. A grassroots referendum to protect sexual orientation failed at the ballot box in 1991. In 1999, the City Council adopted the ordinance 4-1, but gay rights opponents petitioned for a public vote and won by 117 votes in February 2000.

Gay rights supporters hope the third time will be a charm. Although the City Council wanted to adopt the ordinance in the summer, City Attorney Dan Christ said it couldn’t approve anything that the residents already defeated at the polls. So the council voted unanimously to put the ordinance back on the ballot.

Covey said he is not going to relax while campaigning.

“We’re working very hard as if we are behind,” he said. “I would be very surprised it the voter in 2006 did not support this in a big way.”

During the group’s last campaign, it raised and spent about $8,000, Covey said.

“We would be hopeful to do that again this year,” he said. “We want to run a full-fledged campaign to educate Ferndale voters, and the money is critical to print the brochures, mail and postage.”

In response, the American Family Association of Michigan has decried the proposed ordinance as a way to target religious organizations and other groups who have moral objections to homosexuality.

“We’ll do anything we can to assist Ferndale residents who are opposed to this discriminatory ordinance,” said Gary Glenn, the AFA of Michigan’s president.

If Ferndale’s sexual orientation ordinance passes, it will not be the only local city to have such a law. Huntington Woods has had its own human rights ordinance since 2001.

Huntington Woods City Manager Alex Allie said he is pleased that the city has the law even though it hasn’t been called into use yet.

“There’s never been a violation that had to be enforced,” he said.

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