By Dawn Wolfe
DETROIT – On Nov. 21, about 75 people gathered to protest the Archdiocese of Detroit’s financial support of Proposal 2, the so-called “marriage amendment” which has banned equal marriage rights, civil unions and domestic partnerships in Michigan’s Constitution. The Oct. 21 edition of Between The Lines reported that Catholic dioceses across Michigan had collectively donated almost half a million dollars to the main organization backing Proposal 2 as of Oct. 8.
Tom Zerafa, the former Coalition for a Fair Michigan employee who organized the event, and others who attended the protest said that it went very well.
“I feel the demonstration brought a message to a lot of folks who wouldn’t have heard it otherwise,” Zerafa said.
Stephanie Williams, who attended the protest, said that the event left her feeling “empowered.”
“I felt like I finally had a way to express the sadness and rage I felt about Proposal 2,” she said. “I talked to some other people, and they said they felt the same way.”
Kathleen LaTosch, Affirmations’ special events and marketing director, stressed the “really positive energy from the people in attendance,” at the protest.
Zerafa reported that the demonstration did not pass unnoticed by the Archdiocese.
“The archdiocese sent a witness,” Zerafa said, “and he was very, very supportive. He said ‘Half the people who work with the Archdiocese are on your side.'”
Everyone contacted by BTL talked about the quiet, peaceful nature of the demonstration. But that peace didn’t prevent the group from conveying a powerful message to people as they left the church after Mass, as well as to motorists driving past on Woodward Avenue.
Zerafa said, “The signs were very powerful. One said ‘Maida’s Touch,’ surrounded by dollar bills. Another, ‘Christ opens his arms – Maida shrugs.'” The Archdiocese of Detroit’s Cardinal Adam Maida is an outspoken opponent of equal marriage rights. He strongly supported Proposal 2 and taped a message that was aired in October in many Michigan Catholic churches asking parishoners to vote Yes on Proposal 2.
Zerafa also said that the organization that came together to put on the Nov. 21 protest is planning future actions. For more information or to become involved, contact Tom Zerafa at 248-591-9444 or [email protected]