Michigan state Rep. Gary Glenn, a first-term Republican lawmaker from Larkin Township, Mich., spent part of his Sunday — like so many of us — on social media. But instead of movie spoilers, kitten memes, and brunch selfies, Glenn’s Facebook and Twitter followers received a cautionary “Agenda Alert” about a journalist for his hometown paper:
Agenda Alert -- Midland Daily News' new news editor: political science major who "lives in Midland with (his)... http://t.co/nz4yJobcHO
— Gary Glenn (@GaryGlennUS) March 22, 2015
Glenn’s “agenda” remark apparently refers to the so-called gay agenda frequently bandied about by LGBT hate groups, like the one whose Michigan chapter in 1999 elected Glenn president. That year he became president of the American Family Association of Michigan, which has an entire section of its website devoted to what it calls the “Homosexual Agenda.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the national AFA organization a hate group because it uses “known falsehoods to attack and demonize members of the LGBT community,” as in this “Action Alert” from July 20, 2012: “Homosexuality is a poor and dangerous choice, and has been proven to lead to a litany of health hazards to not only the individuals but also society as a whole.”
The journalist who was the target of Glenn’s social media messaging, Tony Lascari, was recently promoted to the management role of news editor at the Midland Daily News. In its announcement, the newspaper quoted Lascari as saying, “I live in Midland with my husband, Mark.”
In response to Glenn’s messages, Lascari told The Advocate in an emailed statement, “I am aware that Michigan Rep. Glenn has issued an 'agenda alert' on Facebook and Twitter to let his supporters know about my marital status. I welcome him to contact me to speak about any topic at any time. In my new role as news editor at the Midland Daily News I look forward to helping my team produce quality stories that are accurate, interesting and important.”
The New Civil Rights Movement called Glenn’s “alert” message to constituents “a chilling, albeit subtle, attack on LGBT people and families, and journalism. It’s a veiled threat to a newly-promoted editor. And it’s ugly and juvenile, especially from a lawmaker.”
The conservative activist was elected to Michigan’s House last November in what the news website MLive.com called a “politically polarizing” race. Glenn, 56, won with about 55 percent of the total vote over his challenger, Democrat Joan Brausch. They ran for a seat vacated by a lawmaker who retired because of term limits.
On his personal website, Glenn boasts that he is “one of two co-authors of the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by Michigan voters in 2004, including by 61 percent of the vote in the 98th House District,” which he represents in Lansing.
Glenn’s bio also touts his 31-year marriage, his membership in the Midland Baptist Church and the National Rifle Association, and his being a founding member of the Midland Optimist Club. The club's Facebook page describes them as a community organization “dedicated to Bringing Out the Best in Kids, and participate in positive service projects in their communities aimed at supporting our youth.”