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 [...]
By Sharon Gittleman
ROYAL OAK – One Royal Oak candidate for City Commission has consistently supported human rights for LGBT residents and opposed the campaign for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Divorce attorney William Reisdorf’s pro-human rights comments have earned him the wrath of anti-gay activists, like Fred Birchard, but haven’t yet garnered him the support of the city’s LGBT community.
“The human rights amendment has to do with the individual rights everyone has – to live in the same place and have the same job everyone else has,” he said. “I would support a properly drafted human rights ordinance that gives the same opportunities to the acquisition of property and employment to gay people as everyone else.”
Reisdorf’s vision for his city includes well-policed, well-lit, safe neighborhoods with a population diverse in background but together in community spirit.
A moderate Republican, Reisdorf said “right-wingers,” like anti-gay advocate Bob Gosselin, are making it difficult to attract new blood to his Party, thanks to their “intolerance” and lack of “balance.”
Growing up in a large Catholic family inspired him to be true to his principals and speak out when he saw injustice, he said.
“We had a lot of rigid documentation stuffed down our throat, but we knew better,” he said. “We knew that everyone was a child of God and He made us what we are, gay or straight.”
While LGBT marriage won’t be decided at the City Commission podium, at least one anti-gay activist has made the issue his litmus test for who should join Royal Oak’s government.
Reisdorf does not support a constitutional amendment prohibiting same sex marriage.
“Currently, there is no constitutional scholar who can point to that place in the Bill of Rights that says sexual orientation is constitutionally protected,” he said. “However, it’s only a matter of time. This is the final step before total recognition of gays and lesbians.”
Both our courts and culture have made this final step inevitable, in Reisdorf’s view.
“People have to understand the majority of the population doesn’t have to accept the lifestyle to accept the people. Gay men and women are entitled to the same things that everyone else is,” he said. “When they take the big step and get a constitutional foundation – an acknowledgment there is constitutional protection for gay people, then the battle will be won.”
Reisdorf, 54, taught English, sociology and journalism at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield for three years before he became an attorney 26 years ago. He’s divorced and has one daughter, age 26.
Why should LGBT people cast their ballots for him?
“If they want someone who has the balance, flexibility and adaptability to entertain alternative views, then they should vote for me,” said Reisdorf.