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Fair Michigan’s goals are to ensure that in the era post marriage equality that LGBTQ peoples’ rights are still being advocated for and affirmed through the prosecution of those who commit crimes against the LGBTQ community. Mary Barr is treasurer for the group and says that in 2019 the organization will reaffirm their main priorities.
“As part of this advocacy, we will continue to provide support to victims of and witnesses to these crimes. Thanks to newly formed partnerships this support will include emergency housing and counseling. We also will continue to provide extensive assistance in navigating the criminal justice system,” she said. “Distrust and misunderstanding between the LGBTQ community and the law enforcement community often hamper the reporting, investigation and prosecution of crimes against LGBTQ persons. To bridge this divide, Fair Michigan provides Cultural Competency Training to law enforcement, educators and businesses around the state.”
Barr added that after the midterm election that resulted in Dana Nessel, the group’s current president, winning the seat of attorney general re-affirmed the group’s dedication to providing their services. In addition, she said they are welcoming to all candidates who are pro-equality.
“We support efforts explicitly to include sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as protected categories in the Michigan Constitution, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and the Ethnic Intimidation Act,” she said. “We also support efforts to ban ‘conversion therapy’ and to increase resources available to battle anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. In the future, we would like to see the blue wave supplemented by a rainbow wave of political activism in support of pro-equality candidates, especially from within the LGBTQ community.”