Leaders Hope to Bring Attention to Extreme Inequality

Bringing attention to the woeful lack of protections for LGBT people in Michigan.

BY Neal Broverman

July 29 2012 6:42 PM ET

The Detroit skyline.

Calling Michigan "the Mississippi of the civil rights movement when it comes to gay equality," the head of a Detroit-area LGBT center will begin a 100-day hunger strike on Monday that will include numerous state activists.

David Garcia, executive director of Affirmations in Ferndale, will go without food for 24 hours on Monday, as part of the "Hunger for Equality" campaign. His goal is to bring attention to the paucity of rights for LGBT Michigan residents. Over the following 99 days, other leaders of Michigan LGBT centers, as well as politicians, will take part in the hunger strike.

"We're trying to educate our straight allies about the extreme anti-equality environment in this state," Garcia told local media.

Michigan has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage; it also has no statewide protections for LGBT people in employment or housing. There are also no statewide protections for LGBT people against violence and same-sex couples in the state are banned from adopting children. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Snyder eliminated health insurance benefits for domestic partners of municipal employees last year.

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