After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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Ex-gay ministry axed from Dept. of Corrections programming

By |2018-01-16T10:23:59-05:00May 20th, 2010|News|

The controversial ex-gay ministry Corduroy Stone of Lansing will no longer be recognized by the Michigan Department of Corrections or allowed to operate within the Michigan prison system..
John Cordell, spokesman for MDOC, released the following statement to Michigan Messenger May 13:

“The department is processing the removal of Corduroy Stone as an approved outreach group. The reasons cited for removal are the lack of affiliation with a recognized support organization and lack of activity by the group for a period greater than six months. It is unlikely that this group would be approved in the future according the Special Activities Coordinator. The MDOC prohibits the discrimination or harassment of specifically identified protected groups by an individual or a group of individuals in accordance with standards set by the Michigan Civil Service Commission and the Office of State Employer.”
The group came under scrutiny by MDOC officials in December following its break from the international ex-gay ministry Exodus Ministry. At that time, Cordell told Messenger the group may be violating a departmental ban on derogatory and defamatory language.
“The department’s position is that when you are ministering to a group or even an individual that the content of that not be defamatory or derogatory,” said John Cordell, a department spokesman. “We have shut down ministries in the past for doing just that (being defamatory or derogatory).”
Cordell said the department has kicked out white nationalist groups as well as the Nation of Islam for violating departmental policies.
Corduroy Stone has become the focus on increased scrutiny since its website was discovered to be hosted on the servers of Michigan State University. That discovery was made in 2007 after the American Family Association of Michigan paid to fly a banner over the Motor City Pride event in Ferndale. That banner directed people to visit a website which directed them to ex-gay ministries.
For nearly two years, officials at MSU assured advocates in the gay community the website would be removed from the public servers, but late last year, they flipped on the decision and announced the website would remain on taxpayer funded servers.
This happened after Patrick McAlvey of Lansing released a video in which he blasted the group and its founder for the therapy and treatment he said he received as a patient of the program.
McAlvey’s story led to a cover story this week in the Lansing weekly newspaper City Pulse, in which a reporter went undercover for therapy at Corduroy Stone.
In an e-mail, McAlvey thanked the MDOC for its announcement. “For too long Mike Jones has been allowed to charade as a mental health professional,” McAlvey wrote. “In reality he is a fraud and a dangerous predator. He is not a licensed mental health professional, he is not a member of the clergy and he is not accountable to any governing body or board of directors. His unscientific, outlandish and dangerous theories and techniques have no place in Michigan’s corrections system.”
“The Michigan Department of Corrections has always been very proactive with policy regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Equality Michigan is glad to see it end its relationship with Corduroy Stone,” said Executive Director Alicia Skillman. “Research shows very low results with so-called ‘ex-gay’ agencies. Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for these programs in Michigan.”

This story ran in full on http://www.michiganmessenger.com.

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