As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]
ROYAL OAK – The fight to protect Royal Oak’s Human Rights Ordinance is in full swing as both sides have launched their websites and social media pages.
Just Royal Oak, the group opposed to the human rights ordinance on the Nov. 5 ballot in their city, has launched a webpage showing their disdain for the “homosexual lifestyle” and trying to convince readers that gays are seeking “special rights” at the expense of the constitutional rights of others.
The site has sections for Privacy, Health and Legal Concerns, all of which play off stereotypes rather than giving complete information.
Under Privacy Concerns they say, “Traditionally society has protected women and girls by setting aside ‘female-only’ areas, including restrooms; locker rooms; communal showers; hospital bed assignments; prisons; sports competitions; support groups; rape crisis centers; women’s shelters; women’s colleges; sex-based crime statistics; and women’s health resources, statistics, and research endowments. So-called ‘human rights’ ordinances, such as the one being placed before Royal Oak voters as Proposal A, institute ‘gender identity protections’ and eliminate sex-based protections for women and girls. This means that any male can identify himself as ‘female’ and enter previously protected areas at will.”
Under Legal Concerns, Just Royal Oak gives several examples of pushback against discrimination, only one of which is a case where a local nondiscrimination ordinance was in place. In 2012, Hands On Originals, a local printing company, refused to fill an order for a gay organization that wanted t-shirts for a pride event. Because there was an ordinance in place, the organization was able to make a complaint. Just like a business that serves the public is not allowed to turn away people because of their skin color, their age, their religion or other factors that seem obvious, businesses that operate in communities with inclusive human rights ordinances cannot turn away people just because they are gay. The Just Royal Oak site claims this gives special rights to gay people. But what it actually does is gives gay people the same access to public businesses as everyone else. The ordinance does not force it upon religious institutions.
And under Health Concerns they cherry-pick statistics and studies sometimes over a decade old, to make the claim that, “Judging by the years of life at risk, homosexual behavior is up to three times deadlier than smoking. Although society condemns, restricts, and spends millions of tax dollars to discourage the use of tobacco, many citizens advocate the social acceptance of homosexual behavior that results in significant health risks. Our laws should discourage ANY behavior that increases risk of disease and shortens life expectancy.”
Just Royal Oak has also launched a Facebook page, which had just 62 “likes” at the time of this article’s production. Two local women seem to be dominating the posts.
Fighting against the outdated data and stereotypes is the One Royal Oak campaign. Dave Garcia, Executive Director of Affirmations, said, “If you want to motivate your friends, go to that website,” and One Royal Oak field organizer Megan Cece called it “disgusting.”
So far the One Royal Oak campaign says they have knocked on 5,000 doors and been working to build bridges with local businesses and churches. “We need volunteer efforts,” Cece said. “We are working out butts off 24/7.”
Allison VanKuiken, who is leading the One Royal Oak campaign, says that combating the negative information is a priority. “The only real issues we’ve run into are cases of misinformation at the doors or on the phones and even then most people are pretty polite,” she said. “As people are learning about the work we are doing and what’s at stake in Royal Oak, more folks have been expressing interest and asking about the campaign.” She says getting volunteers involved to help spread the proper information is what is most needed to make their campaign successful.
To learn more about the One Royal Oak campaign, check out their website at http://oneroyaloak.wordpress.com/. Their Facebook page has 595 “likes” at the time of this article’s production. Find them at https://www.facebook.com/OneRoyalOak.