After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

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 [...]


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

Compiled by Sharon Gittleman

Spring brought signs of change for gays

Last Spring was a time of new hopes and hints of a brighter future for gays and lesbians. Arguments began in the ultimately successful sodomy case heard in the U.S. Supreme Court, a gay minister led prayers in the U.S. House of Representatives and a national poll showed most Americans’ ideas about LGBT people had changed for the better. The good news didn’t stop there. A new movement to help gay men live healthier lives was born and a really scary guy stopped living in the woods.

• Sodomy ruling sought
The Supreme Court heard arguments in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that challenged the states’ right to ban sodomy between consenting adults. Attorneys for the gay appellants argued people’s bedroom activities were protected by their constitutional right to privacy. Attorneys for the state of Texas claimed there was no constitutional right to engage in extramarital conduct, so individual states could pass anti-sodomy laws. The state also argued the sodomy law was necessary because it helped preserve marriage and the family. When asked why Texas didn’t prosecute unmarried straight couples, the state’s attorneys said their conduct could lead to the creation of marriage and children, and therefore wasn’t as dangerous.

• Federal Marriage Amendment Introduced
House Joint Resolution 56, otherwise known as the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) was introduced in the United States House by Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave. The resolution would amend the United States Constitution to define marriage as exclusively a union between one man and one woman. The FMA had over 100 co-sponsors by the year’s end.

• Gay minister prays for legislature
The Rev Steve Torrence stepped to the podium of the U.S. House of Representatives to deliver the opening prayer in celebration of U.S. National Day of Prayer on May 1. Torrence was the first clergyman from the Metropolitan Community Church to receive that honor. He is also believed to be the first openly gay person to deliver the prayer. The Reverend was invited to the House by Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lentinen, whose district includes Key West.
“It is important to have diversity on Congress and it is important to understand that sexual orientation does not determine one’s faith,” she said.

• National Gay Men’s Summit draws hundreds
Over 320 people attended the third annual National Gay Men’s Health Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina May 7-11. Organizers hoped the event would create a gay men’s health movement geared toward dealing with common problems, including eating disorders, body-image and drug and alcohol use.
“What we’re trying to do is create a multi-issue, multi-racial queer men’s health movement,” said spokesperson Erik Libey.” It’s about shifting directions in queer men’s health, taking some focus off of HIV and AIDS and putting it on some of the other health concerns.”

• Poll gives gays good/bad news
A gallop poll conducted in May, revealed a majority of Americans (60 percent) believe gay sex between consenting adults should be legal in the U.S. These numbers represents a 17 percent increase over individuals who approved of legalizing gay sex in 1977. A majority (54 percent) agreed that being gay should be an “acceptable lifestyle.”
Nearly 90 percent of Americans also agree that lesbians and gays should have equal rights in the workforce.
LGBT people shouldn’t begin celebrating yet. Gay marriage was frowned upon by 49 percent of those polled.

• Accused bomber arrested
Eric Rudolph was captured in the North Carolina mountains, after eluding federal authorities for five years. The fugitive is suspected of participating in several attacks, including a gay nightclub in Atlanta, a Birmingham abortion clinic and the 1996 Olympic Park bombing. The FBI said the bombings killed two and wounded over 100 people.
Rudolph, whose name once appeared on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, is believed to be a member of Christian Identity, an anti-Semitic and anti-gay white supremacist religious organization.
The accused felon was rooting through a garbage bin just before he was arrested by police.

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.