Feb. 5, 2000 â Michigan Equality holds its first board meeting. First president, Beth Bashert, presided with 11 board members. Their first order was to begin a âGet Out the Voteâ campaign.
March 2000 â Affirmations Big Bash receives $10,000 in funding from the General Motors Foundation. It is the first major Big 3 contribution to an LGBT organization in the state.
March 2000 â Justin Wallace gets 10-year sentence for the slaying of 16-year-old Alex Charles after trying to plead a âgay panic defense,â saying he shot Charles after the teen made a move on him.
May 7, 2000 â Kalamazoo becomes the second city in the state to afford same-sex partners of city employees the same benefits as married partners. âItâs an issue of fairness and equity,â said Kalamazoo City Manager Pat DiGiovanni.
June 2000 â Big 3 and United Auto Workers announce health care benefits for unmarried partners of employees, which covers about 460,000 U.S. auto employees. Coca-Cola, Delta, United and Northwest Airlines announce DP benefits the same year. Michigan companies Beaumont Hospital, Delphi Automotive, Detroit Edison, MichCon, Washtenaw County and Comerica Bank follow suit.
July 23, 2000 â Ruth Ellis, the nationâs oldest out, black lesbian, celebrates her 101st birthday. She passes away in October of the same year.
August 2000 â Forum Foundation awards first scholarships to LGBT students. The two students, Julia Music and Lindsay Stafford, received $1,000 each toward tuition.
November 2000 â Chris Kolb is the first openly gay man to be elected to the Michigan House of Representatives.