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By | 2004-01-01T09:00:00-05:00 January 1st, 2004|Uncategorized|

Compiled by Sharon Gittleman

• Pride on parade
Nearly 15,000 LGBT moms, dads, politicians, palm readers, business owners, lawyers, teachers, teens and their straight friends and family packed the street of Ferndale to enjoy Motor City Pride 2003. Gay social, cultural and professional organizations set up 140 booths along Nine Mile and Troy, passing out literature and signing up new members. Merchants were also on hand, selling rainbow T-shirts and other exemplars of gay pride.
Attendees said they came to the event to catch up with old friends, make new ones and to show the world the true face of LGBT people.

• Proud gays honored
The Midwest AIDS Prevention Project, Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center and the Triangle Foundation honored more than two dozen individuals who advanced gay culture, sports, politics and more at the One World Pride Banquet. Honorees received plaques and the applause of hundreds of attendees.

• Preacher left town
Ferndale Pastor Tom Hansen moved his Bethel Missionary Baptist church to Warren. Hansen made headlines after his anti-gay statements placed his volunteer work as the suburb’s police chaplain in jeopardy. While Hansen refused to comment to BTL, Soulforce Detroit leader Jennifer Adriel speculated low church membership may have been behind the move.

• AFA pushes for state constitutional changes
American Family Association President Gary Glenn called for Michigan lawmakers to adopt a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to straight people. Glenn’s demands came shortly after Canada’s decision to allow same-sex couples to marry.
According to American Civil Liberty Union-Michigan LGBT Project Staff Attorney Jay Kaplan, Michigan currently bans same-sex marriages and bars recognition out-of-state gay marriages.

• Trans murders protested
During a march on the state capital on June 14, members of the National Association for the Advancement of Transgender People held a banner demanding the murder of 18-year-old Nikki Nicholas not be forgotten.
Nicholas’ body was discovered in an abandoned house near Brighton in February. She had been shot to death. Her murderer has not been found.
The killer of Tamyra Michaels, 26, also remains unknown. Michaels was shot to death in Highland Park in December, 2002. Before she died, Michaels was able to describe her killer – a white male with a foreign accent.
Law enforcement authorities say that are actively investigating both crimes.

• Prom night
Nearly 65 teens and their adult chaperones celebrated the annual Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center prom. The youths dined, danced and karaoked the night away at the Gerry Kulick Community Center in Ferndale. A brief storm brought smiles to attendees’ faces after a rainbow formed outside the building.

• Gay friendly Ferndale City Councilman David Lennon, 35, died in a car crash on June 4, in Pontiac.
• Grace McClelland was named the first executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center, the Highland Park-based outreach center for LGBT youths.

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.