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The promise of equality

Susan Horowitz
By | 2006-01-12T09:00:00+00:00 January 12th, 2006|News|

DETROIT – As Michigan braces for what most people expect to be a divisive and mean campaign over the issue of affirmative action, leaders of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community have launched an educational effort to illustrate the importance of equal opportunity and why efforts to ban affirmative action should be defeated.
“The group has formed because affirmative action is important to the LGBT community,” said Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT project. “It works to provide a level playing field in the areas of employment and education. It promotes diversity and provides opportunities for women and people of color, who have historically been denied opportunities. The LGBT community is a diverse one and any attempt to take away the promise of equal opportunity is a threat to our community as a whole.”
Beginning with a Town Hall program, “The Promise of Equality: Affirmative Action delivers,” on Feb. 15 at the Southfield Public Library at 7 p.m., events are being planned throughout the year, leading up to the November election. The measure has been placed on Michigan’s ballot by a California group that seeks to end outreach and affirmative action programs.
“We think this issue needs to matter to anyone who believes in true equal opportunity and justice,” said Jeffrey Montgomery, executive director of the Triangle Foundation and a founding member of the LGBT Affirmative Action Coalition. “If we learned anything from our experience with the Proposal 2 battle, it’s that these attempts to allow discrimination in Michigan must be stopped and a united effort by many communities is the only hope to stop them.”
Founding members of the coalition include Triangle Foundation, ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT Project, Between The Lines newspaper, American Friends Service Committee LGBT Project, Michigan Equality and Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center.
To join the LGBT Coalition for Affirmative Action, a petition is currently being circulated by the Triangle Foundation. Contact sean@tri.org to receive a copy for signature or call 313-537-3323.

About the Author:

Susan Horowitz
Susan Horowitz is editor and publisher of Between The Lines/Pridesource.