Despite the constant drumbeat of bigotry and small minded meanness from Gary Glenn of the Amernican Family Association and his small band of vocal groupies, LGBT organizers, allies and activists across the state have been engaged in trainings to mobilize for equal rights and protections for our families. These dedicated volunteers are not cowed by the poison coming from the AFA, and they are learning how to speak up, speak out and hold our political leaders accountable for their votes and actions.
Second parent adoption legislation is being introduced in the Michigan legislature and it appears to have a decent chance of passage. We can be sure that Glenn will again flood legislators with emails containing threatening messages, promising doom to them and their political careers if they vote in favor of equal rights and protections for Michigan’s LGBT citizens.
But we still believe this is America and that most people believe in the basic tenets of our nation and our Constitution – that freedom, family, love and community are created by individuals in harmony with each other. Second parent adoption rights would hold loving couples responsible for their dependent children. It would guarantee that children could count on the continued support from two parents – not just one and a “roommate” that has no legal authority to protect and defend that child.
It’s absurd that there is even a debate as to whether two parents are better for a child than one parent. Every childs needs and deserves as much support and attention as possible, and it is ridiculous for the state to deny a child the protections of two parents simply because it may object to the two people because they are of the same gender. Glenn will try to scare legislators, and pressure them with threats of retribution at the polls. But we are watching too, and if our political leaders are not willing to stand up for basic human and American values, then we will have no time for them when it comes to voting.
Saginaw Valley State University’s president understood that hysterical propaganda intended to vilify an entire group of people is wrong. They stood up to critics like Glenn who demanded he shut down the school’s production of “Angels in America.” We find it highly encouraging that President Gilbertson just said no to the AFA and their political patsy, State Rep. Brandenberg. How dare a state representative threaten the funding for an entire university based on the production of one play – a Pulitzer prize winning one at that! Has he nothing more important to do, especially given the state’s current fiscal crisis, than to become an arts censor?
It’s time for our state legislators to take a lesson from SVSU and just say no to hysterical Gary Glenn. Taking healthcare away from children is not promoting family values. Denying children two responsible parents does not promote family values. Demonizing people because they are different creates fear, it does not teach expansive, inclusive thinking. Yet Glenn and his bunch do all of these things under the false mantle of family values.
We believe it is high time that people stand up and say “enough!” It is time for Michigan to move forward with courage. Instead of the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” Glenn wants Michigan to become the “Land of the Mean, Home of the Scared.” We are better than that. We want our leaders to know that and to lead the state, the legislature and our institutions of higher learning to a better, safer and more just place.