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David Kallman sought to intervene in the lawsuit brought by Jackson Together against the City of Jackson on April 7.
The lawsuit outlined numerous violations of both the Jackson City Charter and state law related to a deficient referendum petition aimed at repealing the City of Jackson’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance and allowing discrimination in Jackson.
Kallman wanted to represent the city clerk who had improperly approved the petitions to place a controversial non-discrimination ordinance on the ballot – and had signed the petition himself.
The Jackson Circuit Court rejected Kallman’s request, then approved a consent agreement between the city and Jackson Together which tossed the petitions out. That consent agreement paved the way for Jackson to begin enforcing the ordinance – the result of political work in the city that began in the early 1980s.
On Tuesday, the Jackson City Council fired the controversial clerk, Randy Wrozek, for insubordination, poor quality work and for misusing city technology by sending emails with personal content and “crude language,” MLive reports. Wrozek said he will be consulting with Kallman for a possible wrongful termination lawsuit.
After Kallman’s failed intervention, Jackson Citizen Patriot reporter Taylor DesOrmeau wrote an entire piece April 13 outlining Kallman’s ridiculous legal arguments against gender identity and sexual orientation. The article contained no challenges to Kallman’s ridiculous claims. But more importantly, it failed to identify Kallman’s long, sordid and failed history of opposing LGBT equality in Michigan.
The reporter also failed to note Kallman’s involvement in a Christian supremacy organization which believes that only Christians should hold elective leadership roles in America.
Between The Lines has been aware of Kallman and his advocacy. He represented a group of students at Jackson High School in the 1990s as they fought to prevent the formation of a Gay Straight Alliance. The GSA was protected by federal law. Kallman pivoted and accused the district of prohibiting the creation of Bible groups in the school. He had to withdraw that allegation and apologize when the school district proved he was wrong.
He resurfaced in 2013 when he appeared at the Delta Township Board of Trustees meeting arguing that the municipality should reject a non-discrimination ordinance. He used the same arguments to oppose the ordinance in the township, west of Lansing.
“As soon as I read Mr. Kallman’s memo, I knew that he wasn’t just a ‘concerned resident.’ His claims that our proposed ordinance would legalize polygamy, incest, pedophilia and necrophilia were outlandish and inflammatory. It became very evident that Mr. Kallman was a far right activist with a radical and hateful political agenda,” said Ken Fletcher, Delta Township Supervisor, at the time. “It’s sad that Mr. Kallman would purposely mislead well-intentioned residents with his hateful fear mongering campaign against our non-discrimination ordinance.”
Kallman also represented the failed lawsuit in Midland against Planet Fitness. In that case, he argued that a woman’s civil rights were violated by the fitness company because a transgender woman was allowed to use the women’s restroom. The case was booted from circuit court.
So what motivates him?
While Kallman parades around representing the Great Lakes Justice Center, a right-wing nonprofit run from his Delta Township law offices, he doesn’t talk about his governance role on what one expert in the field of religious extremism called “dominionist” nonprofit hellbent on appointing only Christians who believe as he does to government offices.
He serves on the board of the Colorado-based Salt and Light Global ministries. The ministry was started by Richard Wagner in 1986, although the organization is just now in the process of filing for formal nonprofit status with the IRS. Salt and Light was formed “to proclaim God’s truth as relates to life, liberty and good governance under the rule of law.” The ministry argues that it’s mission is for “cultural transformation and renewal” and requires the recognition “that a proper understanding of the spheres of societal authority, and the First Principles that govern them, must be restored within the universal Church and society at large.”
The ministry explains “First Principles” as follows: “First Principles are moral absolutes God reveals in His Word and places on the human heart. Present at the creation of the world, these self-evident truths correspond to reality and remain constant through time. First Principles therefore provide a reliable objective standard by which to measure whether an action is good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust. Salt and Light Global recognizes that lasting transformation is only possible if grounded in God’s law. Therefore, it desires to see First Principles embraced by every social sphere in every community.”
Last fall, Salt and Light Global’s Gina Johnsen ran against incumbent Democratic Eaton County Commissioner Howard Spence. She was tied to a smear campaign that outed Spence as the victim of a probable anti-gay hate crime.
The Citizen Patriot failed in a key aspect of the Society for Professional Journalist’s Code of Ethics: “Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.”
Kallman is not just an attorney – he’s a hired gun with a political agenda to enforce his narrow, political religious beliefs on the rest of society and the readers of the Citizen Patriot had a right to know that.
BTL made attempts to reach both MLive and DesOrmeau, the reporter. To date, BTL has received no comment.