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

Compiled by Sharon Gittleman

• Gay marriage ban introduced
Seven years after the Michigan legislature passed the Defense of Marriage Act, forbidding LGBT marriage, Senator Alan Cropsey (R-DeWitt) introduced legislation to amend our Constitution to ensure same sex marriage remains banned in the state. Supporters hope CropseyÕs proposed Constitutional Amendment will prevent courts from overruling state law in favor of gay marriage. Opponents say passage of the constitutional ban would also disallow provision of domestic partnership benefits.

• River Rouge GSA gets the go-ahead
Angry parents protested the creation of the River Rouge Gay Straight Alliance at a meeting of the cityÕs Board of Education. Despite the family membersÕ vocal objections, River Rouge Schools Attorney Joseph McCarroll told the Board it was obligated to ensure the GSA met, adding any attempt to forbid the group from gathering would violate federal law.

• Turmoil at Ruth Ellis Center
Several staff members and volunteers walked off their jobs in protest at the firing of Ruth Ellis CenterÕs Director of Street Outreach Services Imani Williams. The youth service agencyÕs board unanimously decided to remove Williams, who is also a free-lance writer for BTL. Williams said she was not told why she was fired, a fact that the Board disputed. Board members said they could not legally publicly discuss the reasons for WilliamÕs termination. Former Board Member Atiba Seitu was named as the organizationÕs new Outreach Director.

• Gay supporters raise funds for Stabenow
LGBT activists raised thousands of dollars to help U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) retain her seat in 2006.
ÒThe Republicans have said their targets are first-term senators who won by slim margins. ThatÕs me,Ó said Stabenow.
The Senator spoke to a group of 50 LGBT supporters who paid $100-$1,000 each to attend a private gathering in Detroit, so they could help Stabenow build her campaign war chest. The Democrat said her goal was to raise $12 million for her re-election effort.
Stabenow is a co-sponsor of both the Employment Non-discrimination Act and the Law Enforcement Act (formerly known as the Hate Crimes Act).

• Proud dad named to PFLAG post
Mike Neubecker was named regional director of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – Great Lakes, serving Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. During his two-year term, Neubecker will serve as the conduit between the Midwest chapters and the national organization. Neubecker co-founded PFLAG-Downriver with his wife Jan, and has served as the Michigan state chair for five years.
ÒIt is our passion and we find there is no better way for us to educate the community on equality for all,Ó said Neubecker.

• Kalvin Scarber joined Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community CenterÕs volunteer staff as the AmeriCore HIV Educator.
• Royal Oak psychotherapist Joe KortÕs book, Ò10 Smart Things Gay Men can do to Improve their Lives,Ó hit number one at Lambda Rising, the nationÕs largest LGBT bookstore and was the top selling book in 2003 for publisher Alyson Books.

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.