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Deborah Labelle and Jim Toy to be honored for human rights work

During its worship service on Jan. 18, The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation will be presenting Deborah Labelle and Jim Toy with its annual Beloved Community Awards for their work on behalf of human rights.
Labelle is one of the foremost human rights lawyers in the country. Her work on behalf of women who were sexually abused while imprisoned in Michigan by prison guards has recently been in the news in a lawsuit that garnered the prisoners millions of dollars in damages. She was also the primary lawyer challenging the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling that 2004's Proposition 2 meant that the state of Michigan could "in no way" recognize same-sex couples or families.
In 1970, Jim Toy was the first gay man to come out publicly in Michigan. Since that time, he has been one of the people most responsible for helping to change laws and policies in Michigan to see that the dignity and worth of every person is respected regardless of their sexual identity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Recently retired from the University of Michigan, Toy worked for the school's Spectrum Center for years, counseling LGBT students. Toy also helped found the center in 1971. His past 14 years at U of M were spent as the diversity coordinator of the Office of Institutional Equality.
All are invited to attend the service to honor Toy and Labelle. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the church, which is located at 3257 Lohr Road in Ann Arbor. For further information, call 734-846-3578.



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