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Mich. Senate Hopeful Fights Nondiscrimination Law

Mich. Senate Hopeful Fights Nondiscrimination Law

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Michigan right-wing activist and U.S. Senate hopeful Gary Glenn is fighting efforts to pass an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in the city of Mount Pleasant, as he did in the town of Holland previously.

Mount Pleasant's Morning Sun newspaper reports that Glenn, president of the American Family Association's Michigan branch, emailed all Mount Pleasant city commissioners, stating, "We urge you not to adopt such a discriminatory ordinance, which has proven in other jurisdictions to be used to violate the civil and religious free speech rights of both individuals and cherished community organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army, and which also poses a threat to the privacy rights of women and children in public restrooms and other public facilities."

Another part of the email recommends that city officials avoid involvement in "a debate that typically includes homosexual activists' characterization of Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts as bigots comparable to the Ku Klux Klan, or whether a man who claims to be a woman should have a 'right' enforced by city law to share the women's shower at a local health club with you or your mother or daughter or sister." Glenn also refers to gender identity as "cross-dressing" and says such ordinances are "intended only to advance homosexual activists' drive to have homosexual behavior and cross-dressing defined by law and endorsed by city government as the moral, social, and legal equivalents of immutable characteristics such as race, ethnic background, and sex." If the city does adopt such a law, he says the Michigan AFA will assist in an effort to repeal it via referendum. The group did so successfully in Hamtramck in 2008.

Norma Bailey, a professor at Central Michigan University, which has its main campus in Mount Pleasant, suggested that the city consider the ordinance. City commissioners have scheduled a work session on it for their next meeting, which takes place Monday. They have not decided when it may come up for a vote, and they may even put it to a public vote, the Morning Sun reports. Bailey said she thinks the city strongly supports such an ordinance and will resist outside pressure.

Glenn last year criticized Holland-based furniture company Herman Miller for endorsing a nondiscrimination ordinance in that city, where it was ultimately rejected. He is one of at least eight Republicans vying for the nomination for U.S. Senate; former congressman Pete Hoekstra is the front-runner, but last month Glenn won a straw poll of Tea Party activists. The winner of the August primary will challenge incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.