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Creep of the Week: Tom McMillin

Tom McMillin

One might think the fact that there's a guy running for the state board of education who was once referred to by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as a member of "Taliban wing of the party" would be newsworthy. Furthermore, one would hope that the fact that this guy is actually the Republican Party of Michigan's hand-picked candidate to run in November would raise a few media eyebrows.
Not so much.
Besides the ever-astute Jack Lessenberry, nobody else seemed to notice or care about the rise from the dead of Tom McMillin at the GOP convention in August.
In a Sept. 6 column in The Metro Times, Lessenberry wrote that by picking McMillin, the Republicans had chosen "the absolutely worst candidate for any job." In a Sept. 1 Toledo Blade column, Lessenberry called McMillin's nomination "an odd choice, given that he has been harshly critical of public education and obsessed with opposing gay people. Yet Right to Life of Michigan likes him, and it has as much clout with the GOP as labor does with the Democrats."
And, of course, Right To Life folks also tend to be anti-gay folks.
Lessenberry's claim that McMillin is "obsessed with opposing gay people" is an understatement. McMillin, who is currently president of a charter school in Mt. Clemens, has been an anti-gay warrior in Michigan a very long time.
From 1994-97 McMillin was the field director for the Michigan Christian Coalition. In 2000 McMillin was heavily involved in the defeat of Ferndale's LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance where he was the treasurer of "Oakland County Residents for Equal Rights Not Special Rights." The committee was heavily funded by the American Family Association and sent mail and made phone calls grossly misinforming the ordinance to voters.
When Royal Oak took up a similar ordinance, McMillin and his "Special Rights" group emerged again. That ordinance was defeated as well.
As an Oakland County Commissioner in 2003, McMillin sponsored and passed a resolution in support of a constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples. Similar resolutions were then introduced, and largely passed, by county commissions throughout Michigan.
"I think that the people who are caught up in the homosexual lifestyle need help," McMillin told the Detroit News on Sept. 18, 2003. "We encourage people to stop smoking. This resolution is the same sort of thing."
To the best of my knowledge, McMillin's resolution did not cause a rash of "ex-gays" in the state.
In 2004, McMillin ran against incumbent Pat Dohaney hoping to be the next Oakland Country Treasurer. He lost. Part of his campaigning included phone calls to voters claiming that L. Brooks Patterson supported the Triangle Foundation's "radical homosexual agenda" because Patterson supported the inclusion of sexual orientation in state hate crime laws. "We don't kill young gay guys just because they're gay," Patterson told the Oakland Press. "Maybe McMillin's brand of Christianity accepts that. Mine does not."
Is this a guy you want making decisions about anything, let alone education, for Michigan? Vote, baby, vote.



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Topics: News
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