Some people, it seems, just can’t sit back and enjoy spring. Or let anyone else enjoy it, either.
Given the beautiful weather that has been gifted to our area for the past several weeks, our writers and editors here at BTL would like to be able to bring you nothing but stories about May flowers for this, the first issue of arguably the best month of a Michigan year.
Sadly, we’ve had to take up much of this week’s paper with April showers – or, at least, April gnats.
That’s because the AFA has been at it again. And this time, rather than limiting their attacks to the already-ailing Ford Motor Company, the kings of anti-gay buzzing managed to shut down the phones of our own Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.
That’s right; a self-styled Christian organization, through an email riddled with inaccuracy and innuendo, helped cause the temporary shutdown of an actual Christian church. Too bad we couldn’t have brought you this story on April 1.
In other gnat-related news, a Ford stockholder is forcing a vote on the company’s policy forbidding discrimination against gays. The same policy that is part of the reason the company has earned a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which helps the company sell cars to our community.
We’re hoping that the rest of Ford’s stockholders will join the stockholders of companies such as Kraft in realizing that doing business with LGBTs is good business. And that the AFA will finally learn what most of us were taught by kindergarten – that kicking someone when they’re down, especially the tens of thousands of employees who are still relying on Ford for their jobs, is just plain rude.
In addition to the gnats, though, there are far larger organizations than the AFA that seem to be gunning for us this season. The GOP-led Michigan House of Representatives, for example, has passed a bill that would allow health insurers to refuse to cover treatments that they find morally objectionable. If it becomes a law, this bill could create treatment havoc for everyone from women seeking birth control pills to same-sex couples attempting to have a child through artificial insemination. And a new report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force shows that conservative GOP’ers don’t limit their discrimination to queers; they’re just as happy to vote against the interests of the black voters they have been so disingenuously courting.
Yes, this week’s issue is filled with cloudy news during otherwise sunny days.
But, then, spring isn’t just about showers and gnats. Spring is also about fertilizer, about feeding the flowers that make us stop and smile and the plants that will give us food for the coming year.
In that sense, social conservatives like the AFA and much of the current GOP are nothing more than fertilizer for the rest of us. Their bigotry inspires groups like HRC and our own Triangle Foundation, and individuals like Chad Grandy, who was recently arrested in an act of civil disobedience, to keep struggling for equality for all people.
And when their hypocrisy is brought to light, we can only hope that the result will be an ever-growing bond between the LGBT community and others, such as women and racial minorities, to fight a common civil rights movement.
That would be a fine May flower, indeed.