Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
We’ve come a long way from that fateful day in 2004 when 11 states voted in favor of a definition of marriage that did not include same-sex couples and had these laws shamefully enshrined in state constitutions across the U.S. Just four short years ago, the politicians who were willing to support or even take a just stand on civil marriage seemed few and far between. Our own Prop. 2 scared away the national Democratic party here in Michigan and we could not get Presidential Candidate Sen. John Kerry or our Governor Granholm to speak out on this issue until it was late in the campaign cycle when it had a negligible impact.
Now in 2008, it seems like no one is afraid to tackle and support gay rights, from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to several presidential candidates.
On the national front, both Clinton and Obama have publicly stated that they are in support of furthering the fight for LGBT rights. Both candidates have gone on the record opposing the divisive state and federal anti-marriage amendments, in stark contrast to the presumed Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain. Last month Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama purchased advertising in the regional gay press in Ohio and Texas. Sen. Clinton gave interviews to the regional gay press in Ohio, Texas and just this month in Pennsylvania. Obama talked with The Advocate and we are hopeful he will soon talk with the regional gay press as well.
In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed a body of gay Republicans and stated loud and clear that he is against a same-sex marriage ban in his state. He called the efforts of anti-gay activists a “total waste of time” and said he will fight against it.
And here in Michigan, changes are happening at the state and city level at an astounding rate. Just last week, the Detroit City Council voted almost unanimously to add “gender identity and expression” to the list of attributes protected from discrimination by a city ordinance. Detroit joins the group of seven out of 10 of the largest cities in America who have similar ordinances. Other Michigan cities are following suit. Detroit, coming in as the 11th largest city, adds a powerful name to the cause.
Likewise, seven state universities have passed similar anti-transgender discrimination policies, and Governor Granholm just signed an order offering the same protection for state employees.
Is this indicative of the impact of LGBT lobbyists? Probably. Is it a forecast of the end of politics of fear and hate? We can only hope so. Whatever the case, it’s clear that politics and politicians are finally mvoing away from the damaging wedge politics that seemed to silence so many in 2004.