Duggan Includes LGBTs In Acceptance Speech

By |2013-11-14T09:00:00-05:00November 14th, 2013|Michigan, News|

John Corvino and Detroit Mayor-Elect John Duggan

DETROIT – Mayor-elect Michael Duggan gave a shoutout to LGBT Detroiters in his acceptance speech Nov. 5. Towards the end of his speech he said, “The way we are going to rebuild this city is to value every single person in our community. It will no longer matter if you are black, brown or white. It will no longer matter if you are Christian, Jewish or Muslim. It will not matter if you are gay or straight. We want all of your talents. You’re all going to be equally valued and welcomed, because only in that way will we rebuild the kind of Detroit everyone in this city deserves.”
Duggan, who actively courted the LGBT vote, told BTL in an October interview that LGBT people are major players in his campaign and he will appoint LGBT people to prominent positions in a Duggan administration. (See BTL issue 21.42, Oct. 17 “A Conversation With Detroit Mayoral Candidate Mike Duggan”).
In that same interview Duggan said that he supports marriage equality and that his lesbian in-laws are an important part of his extended family. “My wife, Lori, and I will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary next week. But when we started dating, her sister Patty was with her partner, Lois, and they are still together today. Patty and Lois were openly in a committed relationship and from the time I came into the family they have been the in-laws… The things you are asking me are the same things that we’ve talked about at the family table,” Duggan said.
Duggan is not the first Detroit mayor to reach out to the LGBT community. In the 1990s, Mayor Dennis Archer attended LGBT events and welcomed 3,000 LGBT activists to the Renaissance Center at the NGLTF Creating Change Conference in 1995. He held town hall meetings on LGBT issues and maintained regular dialogue with LGBT leaders in Detroit. But his successor, Kwame Kilpatrick gained national notoriety for insulting the LGBT community by announcing on a local religious radio program that he did not want his five-year-old twin boys to even see “that kind of lifestyle.” Mayor Bing has been benignly silent on LGBT issues, having been overwhelmed by events that overtook the city’s finances.
Detroit residents noticed, and welcomed, Duggan’s inclusive remarks. In an editorial published by The Detroit Free Press Nov. 8, Detroit resident and business owner Joe Posch wrote, “Duggan’s simple comment is a long-needed statement from Detroit leadership that the city is a welcoming place for LGBT people. And more significantly, it sent an important message to LGBT Detroiters: You matter because of who you are, not in spite of it. No pandering, no being coy. Just a message that you count just as much as everyone else.”

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