Whoever has been targeting LGBTQ Pride flags on Michigan Avenue near US-127 in Lansing struck again on Monday night. But this time, police may have some help putting an end to the thefts and vandalism that have marred Pride Month for local residents: A video captured [...]
It is Tuesday at BTL’s offices. As we go to press this afternoon all of us are awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in two pivotal cases, scheduled to be handed down tomorrow morning. Although we don’t know how they will go yet, we do know that these two decisions will have an enormous impact on the rest of our lives.
As we wait, we reflect. We think back on this month’s Pride celebrations all across Michigan. In Ferndale, at Motor City Pride, Kalamazoo Pride, West Michigan Pride, Tri-Cities Pride, the Ann Arbor Pride Picnic and this upcoming weekend in Flint and Holland. We have seen thousands of people come out, celebrate their lives and their loves and claim their space in the public sphere. This was a record Pride month for Michigan, with more celebrations, more participants and more political energy than ever before.
There will be more Pride celebrations later this summer. Hotter Than July kicks off July 21 with an impressive conference, hosted by the National Black Justice Coalition and the Small Business Administration. There will be high-level dignitaries from the Obama administration here to discuss engaging and supporting small businesses in Detroit, especially those owned and operated by LGBT people of color. This historic gathering is the kickoff event of a 12 city tour of the SBA and NBJC. We have arrived – and we matter.
Then we have one final Pride event – the Michigan March, Rally and Festival in Lansing Aug. 24. Let’s all commit to show up in Lansing that day to make our voices heard and to be counted as the full citizens of the State of Michigan. Together we can celebrate the progress we’ve made, we can insist that our legislators pass a bill to amend the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act so LGBT people can be protected from discrimination. Let’s show our strength, and let’s share our strength with each other.
By the time you read this, we will all know whether we are celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decisions or not. But one thing we know for sure – Michigan’s LGBT people are more visible and vocal than ever. Anyone who went to Arcadia Creek Festival Park in Kalamazoo, Calder Park in Grand Rapids, Hart Plaza in Detroit or downtown Ferndale saw huge crowds – people with families, with dogs, with picnics, with partners and lovers – people like anyone else in Michigan out enjoying the festivities and the comradery.
We hope that the decisions handed down in the morning move us closer to full marriage equality. We ask that our elected officials do the right thing and make it illegal to discriminate against anyone in Michigan for jobs, housing and public accommodation. We know we have momentum and history on our side, and that it is just a matter of time, work and energy to finish this long race toward full equality.
We look forward to seeing everyone who was at a June Pride celebration with us in Lansing Aug. 24 to keep this incredible movement in high gear.