January 2004 – A town hall is held in Detroit to discuss homophobia in the city. It is attended by over 400 people, including many local politicians and community leaders. “This is the civil rights movement of our time. The LGBT community is the Rosa Parks of our time. History will not remember the name of those who seek to oppress us,” said Brent Dorian Carpenter
March 2004 – The anti-gay marriage amendment to the Michigan constitution fails to get the 73 votes necessary in the House of Representatives to pass. However, two other laws banning same-sex marriage remain standing in the state and on March 3, 170 people picket against federal marriage inequality, which eventually becomes the Defense of Marriage Act. “We’re here today because we’re under attack. George W. Bush wants to take away rights that we already don’t have. How many times can you take them away?” said Sean Kosofsky, then of the Triangle Foundation
March 27, 2004 – Affirmations announces plans for a new building in Ferndale at their annual Big Bash fundraiser. The announcement comes with the “Open the Doors” campaign to raise funds for the new building.
May 22, 2004 – The American Friends Service Committee’s Faith Action Network holds its first Together in Faith Collaborative. The event, now held annually, draws over 350 participants to Eastern Michigan University.
June 10, 2004 – Ruth’s House opens in Detroit, the state’s first-ever transitional living space for LGBT youth. “It’s a safe space. I get to be myself and I can do what I like around this house …I knew they said that we would have a house to live in, but I never thought that the house would go to this extreme,” said Eryk, one of the house’s first residents.
June 2004 – Attorney Rudy Serra is appointed as judge of the 36th District Court, making him the first openly-gay judge in the state.
July 31, 2004 – In an attempt to heal past anti-gay comments, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick attends the Hotter Than July Black Gay Pride picnic. He is the first sitting mayor of Detroit to do so.
Nov. 2, 2004 – Michigan voters approve Proposal 2 59-41 percent, writing a ban on same-sex marriage into the constitution. It joined 10 other states that enacted similar measures through ballot vote. The measure in Michigan also forces Gov. Jennifer Granholm to remove domestic partner benefits for state workers.