LEONARD, Michigan — Over 200 supporters and guests attended the American Family Association’s 2009 annual banquet in Oakland County May 21st, which featured a video greeting by former Gov. Mike Huckabee, keynote speaker and Fireproof star Erin Bethea, special recognition of citizens who have stood firmly for traditional values, and an annual report by AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn. See our highlights below…
Gov. Mike Huckabee praises AFA-Michigan stand for truth
Former presidential candidate, pastor, and Gov. Mike Huckabee offered a video greeting to the American Family Association of Michigan’s 2009 annual banquet, praising the organization for its leadership in defense of prenatal children’s unalienable Right to Life and the God-ordained institution of marriage and the family.
“In a time when so many organizations, even Christian ones, are running from truth, and running from controversy,” Huckabee said, “Gary and American Family Association of Michigan have been absolutely, totally committed to maintaining a steady, solid course for truth.”
Click to watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNI00Skt2rk
Fireproof star Erin Bethea: “Marriage is worth fighting for”
Erin Bethea, the pastor’s daughter who starred in the 2008 hit movie Fireproof as the wife of the fireman played by Kirk Cameron, shared an inspiring and uplifting testimony of how God is using the vision He gave one church in Georgia to reach millions of viewers worldwide through Christian films. It was no accident, she said, that when the institution of God-ordained marriage is under attack, the church was led to focus its latest film on the importance of preserving Christ-centered marriages.
Glenn honored for decade of leadership for Michigan families
AFA-Michigan’s 2009 banquet marked the tenth year of Gary Glenn’s service as president of the state’s highest-profile advocate for traditional Judeo-Christian family values, during which the organization has been recognized as a leader not only in Michigan but nationally on such issues as pornography, protecting prenatal life and religious liberty, and opposing the homosexual agenda, including Gary’s co-authorship of the Marriage Protection Amendment overwhel-mingly approved by Michigan voters in 2004.
AFA-Michiganâ€™s activities under Gary’s direction have been reported by the BBC, New York Times, CNN, Paula Zahn Now, MSNBC, USA Today, Fox News, Associated Press, Washington Post, Washington Times, Boston Globe, Chronicle of Higher Education, Tech Law Journal, Arizona Star, Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine, and countless TV, radio, and newspaper stories in Michigan.
American Political Science Association in San Francisco — later published by Harvard University — two Calvin College political science professors stated: “In recent years, AFA of Michigan has played an increasingly visible role in state politics as it has turned much of its attention to opposing gay rights initiatives across the state. In addition, AFA of Michigan is engaged in opposing pornography… Much of the publicity received by AFA of Michigan is attributable to the energetic leadership of its current president, Gary Glenn, particularly with respect to the controversial area of gay rights.
…Glenn has shown no fear in dealing with what his group labels the ‘homosexual agenda’ and has vigorously opposed proposals to permit gays to head Boy Scout troops as well as sexual non-discrimination ordinances proposed by various cities across Michigan.”
AFA-Michigan honors three citizen activists in Hamtramck…
Each year, the American Family Association of Michigan honors citizens who have sacrificed their time, money, and energy in defense of traditional family values. At this year’s banquet, we recognized the three leaders of last November’s successful campaign to overturn a discriminatory “gay rights” ordinance adopted by the Hamtramck city council, which would have created special “protected class” status based on homosexual behavior and cross-dressing.
Campaign co-chairs Rev. Andrew Wesley and Akm Rahman and campaign manager Jay McNally first conducted a successful petition drive to force the ordinance onto the November ballot, then waged an aggressive public education campaign in four languages exposing the threat the discrimina-tory measure posed to religious liberty and the privacy rights of women and children in public restrooms and other facilities.
In a city that voted a whopping 85 percent for Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama, voters nonetheless rejected the so-called “gay rights” ordinance by a ten-point margin, 55 to 45 percent. The city’s local newspaper, the Hamtramck Citizen, in December named the ordinance’s defeat the city’s top news story of 2008. AFA-Michigan thanks and salutes Rev. Wesley, Akm, and Jay for their faithful, tireless, and effective leadership.
…and a faithful Christian expelled by Eastern Michigan University.
We were also privileged to welcome and honor Daryl and Julea Ward from Ypsilanti. Julea is an African-American public school teacher who, until March, was also a 3.9 GPA student in the graduate counseling program at Eastern Michigan University before being expelled for refusing academic administrators’ demand that she abandon her Christian convictions.
Four credits short of completing her Masters degree, Julea was referred a patient who wanted counseling to help improve his relationship with his homosexual “partner.” Because she could not in good conscience affirm the patient’s homosexual relationship, Julea followed her supervisor’s instructions and asked that the patient be referred to another counselor, which he was. However, she was thereafter rebuked by her supervisor and instructed to submit to a remedial reeducation course to change her religious views, which she refused.
Administrators then conducted a formal inquisition during which they mocked and belittled her faith and pressured Julea to recant her convictions. She politely but firmly refused, calmly telling the academic elites that she would not “sell out God.” In response, the panel voted to expel her from the counseling program, and after an EMU dean rejected Julea’s appeal, she was expelled. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal foundation, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against EMU, which university officials will spend our tax dollars to contest.
Click here to read the transcript of Julea Ward’s inquisition by EMU officials and her unshakeable witness: http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews_impact/2009/04/EMUhearing_transcript.pdf
AFA-Michigan thanks and honors Julea for the bold resolution of her faith, and we pray the Lord will grant her success in her lawsuit, reinstatement at EMU, and many opportunities in the future to positively influence the patients who seek her counsel once she has completed her degree.
Michigan’s Julea Ward joins Miss California Carrie Prejean as young Christian women who set an example for us all of principled conviction in the face of cultural hostility and persecu-tion. Julea, we salute you!
Rep. Tom McMillin: eyewitness to AFA-Michigan’s effectiveness
Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, former mayor of Auburn Hills, former Oakland County Commissioner, and a long-time supporter and ally of the American Family Association of Michigan, closed the evening by sharing eyewitness testimony from Lansing of AFA-Michigan’s effectiveness at persuading — and when necessary, pressuring — the state Legislature to preserve traditional family values in law, more often than not by blocking legislation hostile to those values.
Rep. McMillin and AFA-Michigan’s Gary Glenn in May were the only two individuals who appeared before the state House Judiciary Committee to testify against discriminatory so-called “hate crime” legislation that threatens free speech rights in Michigan.
Tom then led the opposition to the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives, where all Democrats but two voted for it, while all of his fellow Republicans but two voted against it. AFA-Michigan thanks and salutes Tom for his long history of steadfast leadership for traditional family values in the public policy arena.