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January

By | 2018-01-16T01:13:03-05:00 January 1st, 2004|Uncategorized|

Compiled by Sharon Gittleman

• Granholm inauguration
Gay political activists turned out in force to cheer newly-elected Governor Jennifer Granholm as she celebrated her inauguration at several parties throughout the state.
Democrat Rick Wallace named his wish list for Granholm’s term in office.
“There are a number of things we want to see happen,” said the gay activist. “She can issue executive orders to prohibit discrimination in state employment and push for legislation to improve the situation for gay and lesbian families. She’s also talked about pushing for hate crimes legislation.”
Wallace said he believed Granholm’s election signaled an important milestone for LGBT people in the state.
“I think we’re really moving into an era where gay concerns are being considered as part of the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” he said.

• Phelps protest
A dozen protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas marched in front of Ferndale houses of worship and city offices carrying signs that called for God to unleash His wrath on lesbians and gays. The protest followed a city-wide controversy that made national news – the push for the removal of a local minister from his police chaplain post after he made anti-gay statements at a city council meeting. Ironically, that minister’s church was also selected as a protest site.
“God doesn’t love everybody,” said Fred Phelps, Jr., the son of the controversial minister.
Phelps said his protest was an act of compassion.
“We’re told to love our neighbors,” he said. “The definition of love is to rebuke your neighbor and not suffer him to sin.”
The Phelps crew were outnumbered by pro-gay counter-protesters who held prayer vigils and came dressed in rainbow hats and scarves.
One counter-protester wore the word, “love,” taped to the back of his jacket.
“I don’t think it’s right to hate anybody,” said Matt Webb.

• Affirmations offers domestic partnership registry
Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center announced their plans to offer the organization’s first domestic partnership registry. Valentines Day was chosen as the kick-off for the sign-up.
“Since the city, county and state won’t do it, we will,” said Affirmations Special Events and Marketing Director Kathleen LaTosch.
The Center based its registry requirements on those established by auto giants GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler, the city of Ann Arbor and Borders Booksellers. To sign up, couples must be of legal age, without an existing domestic partnership contract or marriage and be LGBT.
Partners who end their relationship after they registered were encouraged to file a termination agreement with Affirmations.

• Trans rights group formed
Lansing resident Melissa Sue Robinson announced the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Transgender people. Robinson, a male-to-female transgender individual, said she chose the name NAATP in recognition of transgender individual’s shared battle with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“The NAACP sang, ‘We shall overcome,’ and the NAATP is singing, ‘We shall overcome,'” Robinson said. “We shall overcome until the citizens of this world understand diversity, and all are protected under the laws.”
According to Robinson, the NAATP’s mission is to fight for the passage of anti-discrimination and anti-hate crimes ordinances in Michigan and throughout the U.S., and to hasten the process of change for the better for trans people.

Milestones:
• Activist, poet and performance artist Oddis died January 25, at his home in Southfield, following a brief battle against brain cancer. He was 36-years-old.
• Ozone House Youth and Family Services, a pioneer in providing shelter and counseling to LGBTQ youth, was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine as the “Best Managed Non-Profit with a budget of less than $3 million.”
• PFLAG creates the Esera Tualolo scholarship fund, with money given annually to LGBT students and their straight allies.
• Sarah Pettit, founding editor of OUT Magazine, died at age 36 of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.