Ann Arbor residents strategize response to Prop 2

By |2018-01-16T10:49:35-05:00November 25th, 2004|Uncategorized|

ANN ARBOR – The personal became political at a gathering of over 150 LGBT residents and supporters who came to a hastily called meeting Nov. 19 to plan their response to the passage of Proposal 2, the anti-marriage amendment that was approved Nov. 2.
“This did it. I am now awake and radicalized,” said Susan Fecteau, a real estate agent and mother of four with her life partner, Laura Sky Brown. “I am going to every place I do business and asking to see their non-discrimination policy. If it’s not good enough, then I offer to help them write a better one,” she said.
Keith Orr, owner of aut Bar, had attended the Washtenaw County Democratic Party convention the weekend before and encouraged others to get more involved in the party. “The Democratic Party was with us [on Prop. 2] in Washtenaw County, but not statewide. We need to address this, but from inside the party,” he said. Orr is committed to getting more LGBT people to serve as precinct delegates.
Many spoke during the three hour gathering organized by Jeremy Norquist, president of the Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project, and most wanted to find the best way to respond to Prop 2, and to learn their options to try and overturn the discriminatory amendment.
Jay Kaplan, an attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project, explained that the ACLU is prepared to sue any employer who takes away benefits because of Proposal 2. “The proponents of Proposal 2 kept saying throughout the campaign that ‘this is just about marriage, and does not effect anyone’s benefits.’ Well, we intend to hold them to that and are prepared to go to court if anyone’s benefits go down.”
Sean Kosofsky of the Triangle Foundation responded to a question about trying to get civil unions on the ballot next year. “I am not a big fan of ballot initiatives that put the expanded rights for a minority to a vote by the majority. It is very rare that a proactive ballot like that works.”
At the end of the evening the group came up with a list of almost 40 actions that they could pursue, ranging from as simple as writing a letter to the Archdiocese to getting sexual orientation included in the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act, Michigan’s anti-discrimination legislation.
Another gathering is scheduled in Ann Arbor the weekend of Dec. 3. For more information about that meeting contact WRAP at 734-995-9867.

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