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ACLU-Michigan: “Repeal Michigan’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage”

February 16, 2012

ACLU-MICHIGAN — “Michigan is among the states with the worst record for affording protections and benefits to Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender couples. Not only does our state have a ban on marriage equality, the law which protects against workplace discrimination doesn’t extend any protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 …We must continue to fight… By forging ahead, we are creating a roadmap to marriage equality that will lead us to REPEAL MICHIGAN’S BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE and obtain civil rights protections for our community.”

Read more here

Testimony to AFA-Michigan’s effective stand for traditional family values

February 11, 2012

An ongoing testimony to AFA-Michigan’s effective stand for traditional family values- AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn

CONSIDER — “In fact, Michigan has only become more hostile towards same sex couples over the past few months. After an amendment to our state constitution passed as a referendum in 2004, our state became the first in the nation to ban not only gay marriage, but also civil unions and any other contract affording benefits to a same sex couple. On the state level, Michigan provides no protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

. . . Many of you may also have heard about House Bill 4770, which bans public institutions in Michigan from offering domestic partner benefits; this will likely have serious consequences for professors here at the university.

From a legal standpoint, Michigan is objectively the most hostile environment for non-hetero people to live.”

Read more here

Michigan marriage amendment co-author comments on 9th Circuit ruling on California amendment

February 7, 2012

CONTACT: Gary Glenn, AFA-Michigan 989-835-7978

MIDLAND, Mich. — Gary Glenn, president for twelve years of the American Family Association of Michigan, and Ave Maria Law School Professor Patrick Gillen co-authored the Marriage Protection Amendment to Michigan’s state constitution that was approved by 59 percent of voters on a statewide ballot in 2004.  Glenn commented Tuesday on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that California’s comparable amendment is unconstitutional:

The ruling by the most overturned, left-wing appeals court in America was boringly predictable. Arrogant as it is, it no longer carries any shock value that two activist elitist federal judges presumed themselves more intelligent and enlightened than the millions of California voters who voted to constitutionally protect one-man, one-woman marriage from being radically redefined.

Still, it’s just a pit stop on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Once there, not only California’s but Michigan’s and twenty-eight other states’ Marriage Protection Amendments will be on the line, all approved by voters with an average 68 percent voting in favor.

Hopefully, Justice Scalia will be proven wrong when he predicted in Lawrence v. Texas a decade ago that the Supreme Court was laying the groundwork to declare a Constitutional “right” to so-called homosexual “marriage” in all 50 states, followed by polygamy and whatever follows that once the definition of marriage is opened up to the demands of the latest special interest group’s public pressure tactics.  Hopefully, at least five members of the U.S. Supreme Court will show more judicial restraint and more respect for the overwhelming will of the people evidenced in statewide ballot votes in Michigan and California and 28 other states.

The only certain way to protect and preserve one-man, one-woman marriage anywhere in America will be for Congress to use its Constitutional authority to declare that federal judges no longer have jurisdiction to rule on issues involving the definition of marriage, or for Congress and 37 state legislatures to approve a Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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Associated Press — Census records 42 percent increase in number of Michigan households led by same-sex partners

August 18, 2011
“Still, the numbers suggest that less than 1 percent of Michigan’s 3.8 million households are run by same-sex couples… Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said the real message from the census results is that gays make up such a small portion of the population that the increase of same-sex households is irrelevant. ‘It just makes the point all the more that public policy in this state should not be driven or dictated by such a tiny fringe minority of society,’ said Glenn.”

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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Traverse City, Michigan
August 18, 2011

Census records 42 percent increase in number of
Michigan households led by same-sex partners

by John Flesher, Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Five years after tying the knot with her female partner, Denise Brogan-Kator took great pleasure in describing herself as married when filling out a 2010 U.S. census questionnaire.

“It felt empowering … very authentic,” said Brogan-Kator, executive director of Equality Michigan, a gay rights advocacy group. “It felt like an acknowledgement of our existence.”

Michigan has 21,782 households led by same-sex couples, according to census data released Thursday. That’s a 42 percent increase over the 15,368 reported in the 2000 census, which experts say reflects a nationwide trend and growing acceptance of homosexuality and nontraditional family structures.

Still, the numbers suggest that less than 1 percent of Michigan’s 3.8 million households are run by same-sex couples, which advocates and experts say reflects continuing reluctance on the part of many gay and transgender people to go public.

According to the census, in 2010 there were 12,483 Michigan households led by female couples, a 55 percent increase over 8,075 a decade earlier. The number led by male couples rose 28 percent, from 7,293 to 9,299.

Although the census refers to such households as being led by “unmarried partners,” it does not explicitly describe them as gay, lesbian or transgender. Nor does it enable single people to describe their sexual orientation. That means the census does not measure the number of homosexual people in Michigan or nationally.

Later this year, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to release data showing how many same-sex couples described themselves as married. Although Michigan doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, some of the state’s same-sex couples may have gotten married in states that do. Brogan-Kator and her spouse, Mary Kator, were married in Canada and now live in Milford.

The bureau said the 2000 and 2010 numbers weren’t entirely comparable because of technical differences in how they were processed. Still, demographers said there was clearly a significant increase in the number of same-sex couples reporting themselves as such.

“It definitely points out that things are changing a great deal,” said Kurt Metzger, director of Data Driven Detroit, a demographic research agency. “Obviously people are feeling much more comfortable to come out and couple up and identify themselves that way on the questionnaires.”
Brogan-Kator said outreach efforts by the government and gay rights groups were partly responsible for the higher numbers of same-sex couples counted in the 2010 census. But she also credited an increasingly tolerant society.

“The climate has changed in Michigan and around the country,” she said. “Ten years ago, gay and transgender people were still very much worried about physical safety, and being out was a big risk. We existed in roughly the same proportions that we exist today, but we were very careful about who we would say we existed to.”

Like the rest of the U.S., Michigan remains divided over gay rights issues. Fifteen communities around the state have adopted anti-discrimination ordinances, but gay marriage is banned under a constitutional amendment adopted in 2004.

Wayne County had the highest number of same-sex households with 3,841, up 18 percent from 3,255 a decade earlier. Oakland County’s total rose 50 percent, from 2,039 to 3,058, while Macomb County had a 62 percent jump, from 1,014 to 1,644.

Kent County went from 976 households to 1,484, up 52 percent. Saginaw County’s number was up by one-third, from 282 to 373. Grand Traverse County had a 70 percent increase, from 131 to 223. In the Upper Peninsula, Marquette County had 132 same-sex households last year, a 35 percent increase from 98 in 2000.

Metzger said the data, while almost certainly under-reporting the number of households led by same-sex partners, should convince government officials to pursue more gay-friendly policies — to promote economic growth as well as social justice.

“If we want to be seen as a cool state that attracts young, creative, educated people, we can’t just look at immigrants,” he said. “We have to be seen as attractive to the gay population.”

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said the real message from the census results is that gays make up such a small portion of the population that the increase of same-sex households is irrelevant.

“It just makes the point all the more that public policy in this state should not be driven or dictated by such a tiny fringe minority of society,” said Glenn, who is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate next year.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/2dc2735f25ed4f568bc61ecb7992d1e9/MI–Census-Michigan-Same-Sex-Households/
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Great information from AFA-Indiana

August 10, 2011
To AFA-Michigan supporters…

This letter from American Family Association of Indiana is so good on several points that I want to share it with you. Thanks as always for your support!
Glenn's signature

—–

Dozens of Congressmen
Are Standing with Indiana

This week, 41 members of Congress signed on to a federal appeals court brief that defends Indiana state law preventing Hoosier tax dollars from going to subsidize the abortion industry.

The friend of the court brief from the American Center for Law and Justice follows an earlier brief from the Thomas Moore Law Center in which 60 state legislators signed on to defend the new law. The legal briefs are part of the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, which put the new law on hold and restored tax funding to Planned Parenthood.

The ACLJ brief argues for Indiana’s right to set parameters for Medicaid recipients. They note, “Federal Medicaid statutes and regulations give States broad discretion to craft the rules applicable to their Medicaid programs. Congress left intact the States’ authority to determine what makes an entity qualified to provide Medicaid services, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(p)(1), while ensuring that Medicaid recipients may utilize any practitioner deemed to be qualified under State law, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(23). Since HEA 1210 does not limit a beneficiary’s ability to choose among providers that are deemed to be qualified, it is consistent with federal Medicaid law.”

This state’s rights argument has been mentioned in many news reports. Perhaps more interesting is another argument in the ACLJ brief that urges the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court decision. It attacks Planned Parenthood and the ACLU’s “novel claim that abortion providers have a constitutional right to perform abortions and receive public funds; if accepted, this argument would unduly restrict the policy discretion that Congress and state and local governments have to decide how to spend public funds.” Calling the abortion industry’s audacious claim to a constitutional right to our tax dollars “novel” is kind to say the least.

The ACLJ brief is signed by the following members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
Michele Bachmann, Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton, Francisco “Quico” Canseco, Michael Conaway, John Fleming, Bill Flores, Randy Forbes, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Vicky Hartzler, Jeb Hensarling, Tim Huelskamp, Randy Hultgren, Lynn Jenkins, Bill Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mike Kelly, Steve King, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Jeff Landry, James Lankford, Robert Latta, Kenny Marchant, Thaddeus McCotter, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jeff Miller, Alan Nunnelee, Ron Paul, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Mike Pompeo, Todd Rokita, Chris Smith, Lamar Smith, Marlin Stutzman, Glenn Thompson, and Todd Young.

The Term “Pro-Choice” May
Not Mean What We Assume

Speaking of abortion, a new poll from Gallup has some very interesting findings. The proponents of abortion often claim that most Americans are “pro-choice” when it comes to abortion. There are recent surveys challenging this assertion in terms of the self-identification between being pro-life or pro-choice. Even if most Americans are “pro-choice,” it probably doesn’t mean what you think or what abortion advocates imply.

The Gallup survey of “pro-choice” Americans actually finds that most of these people agree with pro-life Americans on nine significant areas. For example, 86% of “pro-choice” individuals favor informed consent legislation which gives women information about abortion and alternatives beforehand. Two-thirds (63%) of “pro-choice” Americans favor banning the grisly partial birth abortion procedure. Sixty-percent support parental consent laws for minors seeking an abortion. Half (52%) of “pro-choice” Americans want abortions to be made illegal after the second trimester and 79% want third trimester abortions outlawed. One major difference is that most (64%) “pro-choice” Americans support abortion as a means of birth control in the first trimester.

As noted in previous surveys, Gallup has also reconfirmed that those who attend regular religious services (“churchgoers”) are twice as likely to be pro-life compared to those who rarely or never attend church services.

The Tail Wagging the Dog

I had a media interview late last week in regard to new US Census Bureau data showing numbers homosexual households in Indiana. When asked if I was surprised at the numbers, I said yes, not at their large size, but at how that minority are given the disproportional political and cultural influence homosexuals wield.

I have similar numbers from the year prior to those the reporter cited, and they are revealing. (Keep in mind that a recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans mistakenly believe that 25% of the US population is homosexual or bi-sexual. In reality that number is less than 3%.)

In Indiana, based upon Census Bureau data released in April 2010, there were only 10,200 same-sex couples living together in Indiana. Contrast this with 1,251,500 married Hoosier couples and same-sex couples account for just three-tenths of one percent of the household population in Indiana. In state after state, this percentage is nearly the same. Nationally the percentage of same-sex couples compared to married households is only 0.4%.

Some would argue that if homosexuals currently living together and therefore most likely to marry are so few, what is the harm of un-defining marriage. (For all of their claims of needing to redefine marriage when given the chance to “marry” in Europe or in states like Massachusetts, relatively few homosexuals actually do so. Most reject marriage, raising questions about their claims of disadvantage, denied rights, property sharing difficulties and marriage inequality.)

The real question is if the numbers are so small, why disrupt society by further devaluing marriage, rewriting school curricula, limiting religious speech, closing faith-based charities and other problems associated with same-sex marriage just to appease a very vocal, yet small 0.3% of cohabiting population? What of other behaviors and lifestyle choices? Must marriage be redefined to accommodate them too?

Given the societal importance of marriage and the traditional family, discarding the logical time-tested boundaries of marriage to appease a vocal, and tiny special interest group when poll after poll shows most Americans want marriage to remain as it always has been truly is a radical notion.

One Reason Why the Tail
Can Wag the Dog So Easily

In light of the data above, a logical question one may ask is why is American culture so pro-gay and morally decadent in virtually every way imaginable? May I suggest that the one-in-four of Americans who identify themselves as evangelical Christians are not following the Biblical directive to be “salt and light.” A staggering majority, betwene 76% and 78%, of Americans still identify themselves a Christians.

Why, given such large demographic numbers, is the culture so hostile to basic traditional values, parents, children, faith, etc? There are several reasons for this problem. One of them was found in a survey of pastors from Your Church Magazine that I mentioned in a recent weekly AFA-IN e-mail. The survey found that more than half of the ministers (55%) surveyed admitted that they would not preach at all or only sparingly on certain subjects. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) listed politics as the top subject they would avoid. One-in-four said that they would not mention homosexuality. When it came to the issue of abortion, 18% said that they would not mention this subject from the pulpit. Nearly one-in-ten said that they would not mention the subject or doctrine of Hell.

It is not as though God does not have things to say about these subjects and the issues of the day as revealed in His Word. The primary reason cited for avoiding certain subjects was that it might negatively impact church attendance. Yet, if the pulpits of our nation are silent on the issues its congregants confront daily in news headlines and the culture, how can we expect folks to live counter-culturally rather than mirroring everything around them?

(By the way, I am very excited about a new book coming out in a few weeks from Hoosier talk show host, Peter Heck, precisely about this issue of being salt and light in the world and taking back the culture. You can learn more about his book here: http://www.peterheck.com/78)

The church serves a role as the conscience of a nation, and unlike most government programs, faith changes lives from the inside out. Still, cultural change does not rest solely at the feet of the church. This is where groups like AFA of Indiana play a vital part. Your financial and prayer support of AFA-IN is always welcome and helpful. If you would like to stand with us, you can make a tax-deductible donation online or mail one to us at: PO Box 40307, Indianapolis, IN 46240.

http://www.afain.net/
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HOLLAND SENTINEL — Gary Glenn campaigns for Tonini in Holland’s second Ward

August 1, 2011
“Glenn cited (Holland City Council candidate Jerry) Tonini’s opposition to the inclusion of the terms sexual orientation and gender identity during Monday’s candidate forum as the reason for the campaign support. Glenn…has vehemently opposed any law that protects “homosexual behavior” or could lead to the legalization of gay marriages. Glenn cited Holland’s 64 percent support of the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004 as a reason to vote for Tonini.”

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HOLLAND SENTINEL
Holland, Michigan
August 1, 2011

Gary Glenn campaigns for Tonini
in Holland’s second Ward

by Staff reports / The Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND, Mich. — Gary Glenn, chairman of the Campaign for Michigan Families, sent an automated phone message Thursday to registered voters in the city of Holland’s second Ward.

Glenn urged support for city council candidate Gerardo Tonini, chairman of the Holland Planning Commission. Tonini is running against Second Ward incumbent Jay Peters and former Councilman Victor Orozco.

In the message, Glenn cited Tonini’s opposition to the inclusion of the terms sexual orientation and gender identity during Monday’s candidate forum as the reason for the campaign support.

Glenn, who is considering a run for the U.S. Senate against Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has vehemently opposed any law that protects “homosexual behavior” or could lead to the legalization of gay marriages.

Glenn cited Holland’s 64 percent support of the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004 as a reason to vote for Tonini.

The primary election is Tuesday.

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/newsnow/x643158384/Gary-Glenn-campaigns-for-Tonini-in-Holland-s-second-Ward
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GRAND RAPIDS PRESS — Gay rights debate made focus of Holland election with Gary Glenn’s robocalls

July 29, 2011
“Glenn is president of the American Family Association of Michigan. His involvement in the City Council election comes as the chairman of the political action campaign, Campaign for Michigan Families. …In the robocall, Glenn hails (Holland City Council candidate Jerry) Tonini for opposing ‘a discriminatory ordinance giving special rights to individuals involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.'”

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GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 29, 2011

Gay rights debate made focus of Holland
election with Gary Glenn’s robocalls

by Shandra Martinez | The Grand Rapids Press

HOLLAND, Mich. – Conservative Christian activist Gary Glenn is keeping his promise to campaign for candidates challenging Holland City Council incumbents who voted in favor of extending the city’s anti-discrimination lawto include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Glenn called Holland voters Thursday night in a robocall message supporting Gerardo “Jerry” Tonini who is running for 2nd Ward seat on the City Council against incumbent Jay Peters.

Peters was one of the four members who unsuccessfully voted in favor of the ordinance. The three-way race also includes former Councilman Victor Orozco, who supports gay rights.

Did Glenn’s call help Tonini’s campaign?

“I don’t know,” admits Tonini. “The results will be known on Aug. 2.”

Expanding the ordinance to sexual orientation isn’t needed, said Tonini, who currently serves as chairman of the city’s Planning Commission.

“If we protect a certain group of people, then in essence we create more discrimination,” he said.
Tonini, who works for T2 Communications, says he doesn’t buy the argument by some companies that not expanding the ordinance hurts businesses. Furniture-maker Herman Miller and other businesses say the council’s failure to expand the ordinance will hurt their efforts to recruit top employees, no matter what their sexual orientation.

In a radio interview, Glenn took aim at Herman Miller by suggesting that gay workers don’t number within the ranks of the “best and the brightest” employees.

Glenn is president of the American Family Association of Michigan. His involvement in the City Council election comes as the chairman of the political action campaign, Campaign for Michigan Families.

Glenn recently announced he might mount his own campaign for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s seat, which would first pit him against Holland’s favorite son and former Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra.

In the robocall, Glenn hails Tonini for opposing “a discriminatory ordinance giving special rights to individuals involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.”

Some criticize Glenn for stepping into the local election but Tonini says he appreciates Glenn’s support.
“I think every resource is valuable when we are dealing with an election,” Tonini said.

——-
Full Script of Gary Glenn’s robocall

“Hi, this is Gary Glenn with the Campaign for Michigan Families, urging you to support Jerry Tonini for Holland City Council. Jerry Tonini is the only candidate who opposes the discriminatory ordinance giving special rights to individuals involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.

Jay Peters voted in favor of homosexual activists’ discriminatory ordinance, and Victor Orozco said he also supports the homosexual special rights ordinance.

This discriminatory ordinance supported by Peters and Orozco threatens your family’s religious freedom. In other states, these ‘sexual orientation’ laws have been used in court to legalize homosexual marriage and to discriminate against churches, businesses, and individuals – plus community groups such as the Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities — who refuse to allow homosexual Scoutmasters or clergy or to support the homosexual agenda.

Remember, Jay Peters and Victor Orozco support this discriminatory ordinance that threatens marriage and religious freedom.

Only one candidate opposes homosexual activists’ discriminatory special rights ordinance: Jerry Tonini, chairman of the Holland Planning Commission.

Jerry Tonini is committed to protecting the traditional values and religious freedom shared by families in Holland. Jerry Tonini will vote to protect marriage and religious freedom. Tuesday, please vote for Jerry Tonini for city council, either at City Hall or St Frances on West 13th.

This message was paid for by the Campaign for Michigan Families, including our supporters here in Holland.”

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/07/gary_glenn_steps_into_holland.html
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CITY PULSE — Michigan’s marriage amendment “one of the worst in the country”

June 8, 2011
Which means, from our perspective,
one of the “best in the country”…

When reading the dramatic testimonial below to AFA-Michigan’s effectiveness in protecting the institution of marriage in Michigan, please note these points of history:

* AFA-Michigan took responsibility for providing leadership on the issue, being the first organization (and a thereafter unrelenting voice) to publicly call for passage of a Marriage Protection Amendment to Michigan’s state constitution. Starting in June 2003 the day an Ontario, Canada court declared so-called homosexual “marriage” legal right across the bridge from Detroit, Port Huron, and Sault Ste. Marie.

* AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn and Ave Maria University Law School Professor Pat Gillen co-authored the actual language of Michigan’s amendment, now used as a model for other states’ marriage amendments.

* AFA-Michigan’s Glenn was one of the primary public and media spokespersons statewide throughout the seven-month month petition drive and ballot campaign in support of the amendment, which was approved by nearly 60 percent of Michigan voters in November 2004.

* After voter approval, Glenn was asked to help coach and prepare the trial attorneys of Attorney General Mike Cox’s office who successfully defended the Marriage Protection Amendment before the Michigan Supreme Court.

* The Supreme Court quoted or cited AFA-Michigan’s arguments three times in its 5-to-2 decision upholding the Marriage Protection Amendment and its full enforcement.

* An even more recent poll than the one cited in the article below showed just how broad support for Michigan’s amendment is. According to a September 2009 poll by Lansing Democratic pollster Mark Grebner, 90 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents, and half of all Democrats in Michigan said they would vote against a ballot measure seeking to repeal the amendment.

This powerful testimonial is just the latest tribute to AFA-Michigan’s effectiveness, and further proof of the substantive return on the investment you make in supporting our work. Please read the article below.

Then, please renew or increase your investment today in a strong, unflinching, and effective voice for marriage and traditional family values in Michgan. Make your tax-deductible contribution by credit card online here: http://bit.ly/kuE98X. Or by mail to AFA-Michigan, PO Box 1904, Midland, MI 48641.

Thank you, and God bless and strengthen you and your family!

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“Michigan’s constitutional (Marriage Protection Amendment) amendment forbids the recognition of same-sex marriages ‘as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.’ …’One of the worst in the country’ — that’s how Tobias Barrington Wolff, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, described Michigan’s anti-gay-marriage amendment. Wolff was chief adviser and spokesman for Barack Obama on Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender issues during the 2007-08 campaign. …Super-DOMAs like Michigan’s or Virginia’s ban all forms of recognition for same-sex relationships.

When looking at Michigan, (City University of New York political science professor Daniel) Pinello concluded that one development was the most significant of all. The first and only time a state Supreme Court brought the super-DOMA hammer down on lesbian and gay couples was in National Pride at Work, Inc. v. Governor of Michigan (2008), where the court interpreted the words ‘or similar union for any purpose’ of Proposal 2 to bar health insurance benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. Pinello called it ‘the clearest example of an actual, tangible, statewide loss for gay and lesbian couples’ in the nation based on a super-DOMA.

‘They were wily,’ Pinello said of Proposal 2’s Michigan backers. ‘They intended to immortalize the opinion of the day into the future.'”

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CITY PULSE
Lansing, Michigan
June 8, 2011

State of tarnished pride

Despite cultural and social gains, Proposal
2 makes Michigan a difficult place to live

by Lawrence Cosentino

In 2000, Michael Falk came to Ann Arbor with his partner, Matthew, to begin a promising career in materials science. He was 31 years old. By 2002, Falk’s teaching and research at the University of Michigan earned him an Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.
The prize goes to young scientists who show they are likely to “build a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.” Falk got another award, for excellence in teaching, in 2005.

Falk works with the tiniest bits of semiconductor crystals and other nano-stuff that’s crucial to cutting-edge computer technology. He studies how these substances fail under high temperature. Everything has a breaking point.

Last year, thanks to Michigan’s 2004 anti-gay constitutional amendment and its ongoing legislative and legal fallout, Falk moved to Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University to build his “lifetime of leadership” in another state. He and his partner were married in Washington last summer.

“It just felt like we were under attack,” Falk said. “It made us reconsider our long-term desire to make Michigan our home.”

Despite a dramatic rise in public acceptance of gay and lesbian rights among a wider public, Proposal 2 and its chain reactions continue to make Michigan radioactive for much of the LGBT community.

Michigan’s constitutional amendment forbids the recognition of same-sex marriages “as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.”

No matter how fast gays and lesbians gain social or cultural acceptance, no matter how many local human rights ordinances are passed, no matter how many shows of support come from this or that straight institution, Proposal 2 hangs like a sword of Damocles over the LBGT community, making Michigan seem like a hostile environment.

“One of the worst in the country” — that’s how Tobias Barrington Wolff, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, described Michigan’s anti-gay-marriage amendment. Wolff was chief adviser and spokesman for Barack Obama on LGBT issues during the 2007-08 campaign.

“It just seems like a gratuitous effort to punish and be cruel toward three or four hundred thousand Michigan citizens,” Wolff said. “It makes it harder for them to find the person they’re going to share their life with, make a happy and successful home together and contribute to a larger community.”

The stories drip from Lansing, week by week. When state universities tried to find another way to extend benefits to same-sex couples, legislators moved to cut their state funding by an extra 5 percent. When the Civil Service Commission voted to extend the benefits to state employees, the attorney general sued to stop them. Thanks to Proposal 2, these countermoves and others like them can fly under color of “the law of the land” and “the will of the people.” But the political headlines don’t begin to describe how Proposal 2 has affected life in Michigan, not just for gays and lesbians, but for everyone.

Attack of the super-DOMA

A New York researcher has begun the first systematic study on how constitutional amendments like Michigan’s affect individual lives. Daniel Pinello, a professor of political science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, has a name for amendments like Michigan’s. He calls them “super-DOMAs,” after the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

In Pinello’s lingo, “mini-DOMAs,” like California’s famous Proposition 8 or Oregon’s Measure 36, only limit marriage to one man and one woman. Super-DOMAs like Michigan’s or Virginia’s ban all forms of recognition for same-sex relationships.

Wolff calls them “desperate attempts to amend state constitutions to turn gay people into second-class citizens.” The broad language of super-DOMAs gave birth to an unpredictable, hydra-headed legal monster in Michigan.

Pinello is working on a book about the national flare-up of anti-gay constitutional amendments and its consequences. He has released a preliminary study focusing on four or the 19 states with super-DOMAs, including Michigan. For the study, he interviewed 23 same-sex couples in Michigan (75 couples in all).

Pinello kept the names confidential, but he found the tentacles of Proposal 2 extending into unexpected corners of LGBT lives.

He found direct consequences even before came here to do research in 2009. By coincidence, one of his colleagues at CUNY went to law school in Michigan with her lesbian partner. In 2004, shortly after Proposition 2 passed, the woman was offered a position at the University of Michigan.

“This couple agonized for a couple of weeks,” Pinello said. Had they moved, they would have been reunited with a large extended family and enjoyed a drastically lower cost of living.

But the couple didn’t return to Michigan.

“They told me they just couldn’t do it, given the legal environment,” Pinello said.

While doing research in Michigan, Pinello talked to a tenured professor at Oakland University, 15 years older than her partner, who had to back out of buying a “perfect house” near campus. The house was in an area reserved for Oakland University staff and spouses. If the professor died, she was told, her partner would have to leave the house.

Pinello also interviewed an heiress living in a northern suburb of Detroit. The heiress’s grandparents set up a trust that left a large estate to her, her two brothers and their “legal spouses.”

The heiress and her lesbian partner have been together for 20 years, but if she dies, her partner would get nothing while her brothers’ wives would have full shares.

“There’s nothing they can do to get the partner recognized,” Pinello said.

To make the case more perverse, the brothers and their wives offered to welcome their sister’s partner into the family in some official way, but the trustee refused to hear them.

Pinello also talked with a student at the University of Michigan medical school who had tried to persuade a friend, a top hospital administrator in New England, to apply for a similar job at U. of M.

The friend, a lesbian, wouldn’t consider applying for the position, given the legal status of gays and lesbians in Michigan.

Pinello said he has only found the tip of the iceberg. He pointed out that his respondents, found via the Gay Yellow Pages, were relatively well heeled and educated.

“I didn’t have access to the most heart-rending stories, which are going on out in the hinterlands,” he said. “People are schoolteachers and can’t get health insurance for their partners, they’re raising children and they’re frightened to talk to anyone. The more telling stories are probably invisible.”

When looking at Michigan, Pinello concluded that one development was the most significant of all.

The first, and only, time a state Supreme Court brought the super-DOMA hammer down on lesbian and gay couples was in National Pride at Work, Inc. v. Governor of Michigan (2008), where the court interpreted the words “or similar union for any purpose” of Proposal 2 to bar health insurance benefits for same-sex partners of state employees.

Pinello called it “the clearest example of an actual, tangible, statewide loss for gay and lesbian couples” in the nation based on a super-DOMA.

But there were also intangible losses, harder to quantify but no less damaging.

“The effects of Super-DOMAs on same-sex couples, revealed time and again in interviews, are fear and depression,” Pinello said.

There are many painful questions gays and lesbians must ask themselves if they live in Michigan. Will we end up in separate nursing homes? Will a biological son or daughter assert legally recognized rights and contest a document? Will I be able to visit a loved one in the hospital?

Same-sex pairs in Michigan repeatedly told Pinello they would be fearful to be hospitalized anywhere in the state except Ann Arbor.

Only 28 percent of the couples Pinello interviewed felt confident their legal papers (wills, living wills, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies, etc.) would be honored when the time came, especially if they met with illness or accident away from home.

Penny Gardner, president of Lansing Association for Human Rights, is familiar with these fears.

Gardner doesn’t care much about marriage (“it’s patriarchal and Christian and phhhhh”) but cares about the legal and civic recognition it would bring.

“I’m virtually married to my partner, Marilyn, for 15 years, but she has no legal standing,” Gardner said. “”My kids do. They’re fine kids, but who’s to know?”

Buyer’s remorse

The irony of Proposal 2 is that Michigan’s electorate may already be feeling remorse for the full-body, gay-bashing tattoo it impulsively bought in 2004.

Poll numbers are shifting fast, especially for a hot-button social issue. When the Glengariff Group conducted a random survey of registered Michigan voters in June 2009, pollsters found a “seismic shift among Michigan voters on the issue of gay marriage and civil unions” since October 2004. Support for civil unions went from 42 percent to 63.7 percent, a 52 percent increase. Support for gay marriage went from 24 to 46.5 percent, a 94 percent increase.

In a milestone CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday, April 19, 51 percent said they think marriages between lesbians and gay couples should be recognized as legal, up from 44 percent in 2009. For the first time in history, support for gay marriage punched into the majority in a national poll.

“Every day it becomes more and more apparent that [Proposal 2] is out of step with majority sentiment around the country and, I think, in the state of Michigan,” Wolff said.

“The more hostile opinion of six years ago, memorialized in Proposal 2, appears to control how gay and lesbian couples are treated there now,” Pinello said.

Democratic action via constitutional amendments is a novelty in the United States. Legislatures can repeal laws, but it’s much more cumbersome process to change a state constitution.

“They were wily,” Pinello said of Proposal 2’s Michigan backers. “They intended to immortalize the opinion of the day into the future.”

Removing the tattoo will probably be a long and painful operation.

Pinello isn’t rushing his book. He’s confident history will not leap forward and make his work moot anytime soon.

“I don’t see things improving for a long, long time,” Pinello said. “If there’s any salvation, it will come from the U.S. Supreme Court. Barring that, it’s unlikely that there will be the political will to repeal these awful amendments.”

Wolff said it would either take “a mobilized effort by state legislatures and the people, or action by the federal courts.” Nevertheless, when Pinello asked gay and lesbian couples if they have thought of moving out of the Michigan, he was amazed at the answers.

“Most of them have not,” he said. “They’ll say, ‘I was born and raised a Michigander, I’ll stay here and fight.’”

Pinello wasn’t shy about comparing what he heard to rationales offered by Jews who didn’t leave Germany in the 1930s.

“There were all these signs of increasing hostility, but people were saying very similar things,” Pinello said. “‘I’m as German as Hitler.’ ‘It’s a passing thing.’ ‘I’m going to stay and fight.’ ‘Things will get better.’”

You won’t get any Weimar Germany delusions from Dennis Hall, a retired State of Michigan worker who lives in Lansing. Hall has trouble buying the argument that a small group of rabid legislators are to blame for Proposal 2 and its fallout.

“If people of Michigan were really tolerant, they wouldn’t be voting for these people they keep putting in office,” he said. “It’s a frustrating feeling to be gay and living in Michigan, to be honest. I really don’t feel comfortable in this state anymore.”

The rain of legal and legislative blows, large and small, takes a toll. Hall was aghast at a measure proposed in April to require universities that have accredited counseling programs to report to the state Legislature on how students’ religious beliefs are accommodated. The measure was proposed when an Eastern Michigan University counselor was fired after refusing to counsel a gay student. Michigan’s attorney general, Bill Schuette, filed a brief in support of the fired counselor.

Hall is angry that lawmakers would busy themselves with inserting such a provision when LGBT rights are actively suppressed across the board.

“When are they going to put something in the boilerplate that says something positive about us?” Hall said.

Hall said he’s had it. As soon as his partner retires, he’s leaving the state.

“I’ve been all around the country, and Michigan is the most beautiful state in the United States, but I would leave it in a heartbeat,” he said.

When fear penetrates Michigan that deeply, the whole state suffers incalculable loss.

“The 50 states are a marketplace, and talent that is mobile will take that into account,” Pinello said.

When Michael Falk left Ann Arbor last year, the University of Michigan lost more than a promising scientist. Falk walked away from a start-up package of computer and lab equipment, customized to his research needs, worth about $300,000.

“They support you when you’re an assistant professor while you’re getting up to speed as an academic,” he said. “It’s obviously better for the university if you stay on and spend your most productive years in this institution that’s made a big investment in you.”

Falk stays in touch with friends in Ann Arbor who were relieved when the University of Michigan offered “other qualified adult” benefits, but he’s glad he moved to Baltimore.

“To us, it looked like a patch, until that gets challenged, and then what happens?” Falk asked. Watching the situation from afar, he was not surprised to learn that the Michigan legislature came close to penalizing universities that still offer benefits to same-sex couples by cutting funding an extra 5 percent.

Proposal 2 gave legislators like State Rep. Dave Agema the constitutional cover to claim that universities who offered benefits to same-sex couples were putting themselves “above the law and the will of the people.”

Michigan’s Civil Service Commission voted to extend benefits to same-sex partners of state employees in January 2011.The state’s Legislature fell short in an effort to overturn the ruling, but Schuette has sued to stop the benefits, Gov. Rick Snyder has warned that the state can’t afford them, and some Republican legislators, outraged by the Civil Service Commission’s ruling, want to abolish the commission altogether.

“This is not the end of story,” Falk said. “We’re very concerned for our friends in Michigan. Some are couples with kids. The parent who’s taking care of the children is the one whose benefits depends on the university.”

A bill recognizing same-sex marriage narrowly missed passage in the Maryland legislature this spring, but Falk is hopeful it will go through in the near future.

“It’s good to be in a place where things are moving in the right direction,” Falk said.

http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-5957-state-of-tarnished-pride.html
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DETROIT FREE PRESS — Polibytes: They’re not exactly (Glenn’s) fan club

June 5, 2011
DETROIT FREE PRESS
Detroit, Michigan
June 5, 2011

They’re not exactly his fan club

“I’m held in the same regard among homosexual activists in Michigan as I was by AFL-CIO officials in Idaho.”

– Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan to the Idaho Statesman on the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Right to Work legislation he championed in Idaho. Glenn is a relentless critic of what he calls the homosexual rights agenda to undermine traditional marriage and family.

http://www.freep.com/article/20110605/COL05/106050478/Separated-birth
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OFF THE RECORD — AFA-Michigan’s Gary Glenn on Gov. Snyder and the conservative agenda

June 3, 2011
AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn is the guest this weekend on “Off the Record,” the weekly public affairs television show featuring a roundtable discussion with political reporters from the state Capitol in Lansing.

The topic: Is there a coming clash between Gov. Rick Snyder and the legislative agenda of conservative lawmakers and advocacy groups such as the American Family Association of Michigan?

Click here to watch: http://video.wkar.org/video/1966735959

Off the Record also airs on public education channels statewide — in the Lansing area on WKAR-TV Channel 23 at 11:30 pm tonight (Friday), and 12:30 pm and 11:30 pm Sunday, and in Midland, Friday at 8:30 pm on Charter Cable channel 9 and noon Sunday on channel 12. Check your local cable listings.

The topics discussed:

* Right to Work legislation, which would prohibit compulsory union membership or financial support as a condition of employment. Gary cited polls which in 2004 showed that two-thirds of union members in Michigan supported our state’s Marriage Protection Amendment, which he co-authored, when it appeared on the ballot. But those same union members, Christians and others, were forced under threat of being fired to financially support the state AFL-CIO and Michigan Education Association, which campaigned against the marriage amendment. Gary led the successful effort to make Idaho a Right to Work state a quarter-century ago. http://bit.ly/dtYzXb

* Posting our national motto “In God We Trust” in public school classrooms, such as reported here: http://bit.ly/jJa1Y6

* Anti-bullying legislation, such as reported here: http://bit.ly/jr1Ek1

* Preventing the use of public school classrooms to promote homosexual behavior and gender confusion. Gary specifically cited this Fox News report: http://bit.ly/iVrJac

To support AFA-Michigan’s stand for families and traditional family values, please make a tax-deductible contribution online by clicking here: http://bit.ly/kuE98X

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

Thanks, and may God bless and strengthen you and your family!
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FOX 2 DETROIT — Gary Glenn’s agenda for Gov. Rick Snyder

June 1, 2011
What is referenced in this story as a “radio commercial” is in fact our AFA-Michigan News Minute, a daily audio news feed we provide to Christian and other radio stations across the state, which air them free of charge. The “news minute” addressing Gov. Snyder and the Right to Work issue, illustrated by the campaign for Michigan’s Marriage Protection Amendment, is attached.

_________________________________________

“(Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Michigan) told everyone he was all about getting a new budget and business tax in place and would not be diverted by ‘other’ issues. Well the budget is in place, as is the business tax, and here comes Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan. Let’s just say Mr. G.G. is not a liberal…not by any stretch. And he’s got an agenda as long as your arm of 15 issues that he wants the governor and GOP legislature to tackle.

…Mr. Glenn even launched some radio commercials sticking the Right to Work issue right in the governor’s relentless positive action face. Recall Mr. Snyder thinks Right to Work is divisive and would pit business against labor in what could well be a nasty political bloodbath. Mr. Glenn and company appear to be saying, bring on the blood.”

———————————————————

FOX 2 DETROIT
Detroit, Michigan
June 1, 2011

Gary Glenn’s agenda for Rick Snyder

by Tim Skubick / FOX 2 Political Consultant

LANSING — Oh my, this could get mucho messy.

The ultra-conservative wing of the state GOP has been patiently marking time since January when the Rick Snyder juggernaut rolled into town.

The new governor told everyone he was all about getting a new budget and business tax in place and would not be diverted by “other” issues.

Well the budget is in place, as is the business tax, and here comes Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan. Let’s just say Mr. G.G. is not a liberal…not by any stretch.

And he’s got an agenda as long as your arm of 15 issues that he wants the governor and GOP legislature to tackle.

Try this on for size:

(1) prohibit state funding of any sex changes for prison inmates.

(2) prohibit use of classroom dollars to “promote any form of sexual activity outside of marriage.”

(3) Halt any show of nudity during “drama productions” at state universities.

(4) Cut off support to Planned Parenthood

(5) Make sure homosexual couples can’t adopt children.

One could go on to list the other 10, but you generally get the idea here, right? By the way, none of those items were in the Snyder campaign blueprint to reinvent Michigan.

Obviously, there’s been a pent up demand to address some of those social wedge issues which the current governor has demonstrated little stomach to stomach.

Mr. Glenn even launched some radio commercials sticking the Right to Work issue right in the governor’s relentless positive action face. Recall Mr. Snyder thinks Right to Work is divisive and would pit business against labor in what could well be a nasty political bloodbath.

Mr. Glenn and company appear to be saying, bring on the blood.

Wonder what blood-type the governor is?

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/politics/tim_skubick/gary-glenn’s-agenda-for-rick-snyder<
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MIRS — Radio ads take on governor

June 1, 2011
What are described in this article as “radio ads” are in fact just one issue of our AFA-Michigan News Minute, which is run daily, free of charge, by Christian and other radio stations across the state. The audio of this particular day’s version is attached.

“Gary Glenn says it is wrong for Christians and other employees to continue to be forced, under threat of being fired, to financially support labor unions such as the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO that support abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, homosexual marriage, and transgender rights.”

————————————————–

MIRS
Michigan Information and Research Service
Lansing, Michigan
May 31, 2011

Radio ads take on governor

Gov. Rick Snyder said the Right to Work issue is divisive and a new radio ad suggests, “it is not on his to-do list.” But the commercial goes on saying that Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan (AFAM) said “it should be.”

The ad is the first mass media effort to move the issue in the legislature despite the Governor’s stance.

The spot is sponsored by Glenn’s group and will air on radio stations in Lansing, Flint, Zeeland and Grand Rapids.

“Gary Glenn says it is wrong for Christians and other employees to continue to be forced, under threat of being fired, to financially support labor unions” such as the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO that support “abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, homosexual marriage and transgender rights.”

The commercial points out that two-thirds of labor households in 2004 supported the so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment,” yet their union contributions were used by the labor groups to fight the amendment the workers wanted.

The radio spot concludes, “The Right to Work law would protect Christians from being told to pay up or be fired.”

Glenn, by the way, is scheduled to appear on the Off the Record broadcast — http://wkar.org/offtherecord — this week.

Listen to the Radio Ad here.
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QUEERTY — “Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids?”

May 19, 2011
“Recruiting children? You bet we are. Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”

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Queerty columnist openly admits that so-called anti-bullying bills are a Trojan Horse propaganda ploy by which to promote homosexual behavior as safe and normal in our public schools.

In fact, medical research indicates that such behavior is a severe threat to both personal and public health, associated with a dramatically higher incidence of mental illness, eating disorders, substance abuse, syphilis and other STDs, serious life-threatening diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, and AIDS, and premature death by up to 20 years.

__________________

Homosexual columnist writes:

“We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. …The younger generation doesn’t fear homosexuality as much because they’re exposed to fags on TV, online, and at school. And I don’t know a single lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person who wants that to stop.

I for one certainly want tons of school children to learn that it’s OK to be gay, that people of the same sex should be allowed to legally marry each other, and that anyone can kiss a person of the same sex without feeling like a freak.

…I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality and there’s nothing wrong with that.

…(W)e do our opponents an even greater service when we trip all over ourselves promising not to mention queers in front of the kids when in fact we’d love to. And because we hide from this very basic fact and treat it like something to be ashamed of, we end up with watered-down unemotional pleas for equality…

How about this? How about we accept that we want kids to think better about queers… That would at least be honest.”

http://www.queerty.com/can-we-please-just-start-admitting-that-we-do-actually-want-to-indoctrinate-kids-20110512/
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