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 [...]
Compiled by Sharon Gittleman
• Mixed results for LGBT voters
Election day brought both smiles and new concerns for suburban gays. In Royal Oak, three pro-LGBT city commission candidates lost their chance to serve, while Birmingham’s first openly gay mayor was swept out of office. Ferndale residents heard better news on Nov. 4. Gay-friendly Ferndale Mayor Bob Porter was re-elected along with incumbent City Councilman Craig Covey. Michael Lennon will serve in his brother David’s seat on the Ferndale Council. David Lennon died this summer in a car crash in Pontiac.
• Governor; Senator attend HRC event
For the first time, a Michigan Governor attended a Human Rights Campaign fund-raiser dinner. Governor Jennifer Granholm, Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and Congressman Sander Levin mingled with attendees before the 14th annual black-tie event held in downtown Detroit. Other politicians were conspicuous by their absence, including Detroit city officials and non-gubernatorial representatives from state government.
• Slain transgendered remembered
Visitors to Ferndale’s Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit on Nov. 20, were faced with a shocking welcome – 38 “tombstone” markers. The markers were erected in memory of the transgendered people felled by violence since the same day last year – the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial.
“We wanted to do something visual so that people can really see the impact,” said Michael Larson, program director at Affirmations Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
Organizers said each year the number of fatal attacks aimed at trans people has increased, making 2003 the bloodiest year ever.
TDOR events were also held in Ann Arbor and Lansing.
• Parents warned about lesbian youths
Several Detroit parents were startled by a letter sent to them by Frank Cody High School Principal Ronnie Phillips. The missive warned moms and dads that female students were, “experimenting with an alternative lifestyle.” Phillips invited the parents to a meeting mid-month to discuss the issue. Over 50 parents, students, teachers, counselors, social workers and district administrators attended the gathering.
To date, several Cody girls were accused of harassment of other female students, with some suspended for inappropriate behavior.
• Dem.’s lesbian daughter helps her dad
Lesbian Chrissy Gephardt campaigned across Michigan, telling gays and others why they should support her father, House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt, in the upcoming presidential primary.
“He believes in helping people that don’t have a voice,” said Gephardt.
Gephardt said her dad was aware that her efforts might lose support for him in some quarters, but welcomed her efforts on his behalf.
“And he said, You know what, that’s the way it is because my family comes first and it will always come first,” said Gephardt. “And if I lose votes over it, then that’s the way it is.”
• Ford Motor Company honored 12 members of the LGBT employee network GLOBE during the fourth annual Corporate Diversity and Worklife Summit’s recognition ceremony held on Nov. 4.
• The Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan gave a $7,500 grant to Wayne State University’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Union. The Union provides educational services and activities for WSU students and youths in Detroit and Highland Park.