A mixed bag for Buttigieg in Democratic debate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, Ind.) speaks at the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate on July 30. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

Pete Buttigieg has won praise for his eloquence and debate skills over the course of his 2020 presidential run, but his performance during the second Democratic debate included missteps and proved a mixed bag at best.

The debate on July 30 in Detroit, moderated by CNN, was only the second time an openly gay person has participated in a major party debate. (The first was Buttigieg’s participation in the previous 2020 Democratic debate.)

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Commission poised to seek AG’s opinion on LGBT protections

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WARREN, Mich. (AP) | The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is poised to ask the new attorney general to reconsider her predecessor’s opinion that state law doesn’t protect LGBT people from discrimination.

The commission will decide Jan. 28 whether to make the request to Attorney General Dana Nessel at its scheduled meeting in the Detroit suburb of Warren.

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Story hour hosted by drag performers sees some opposition

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HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. (AP) | A story hour hosted by drag performers at a suburban Detroit public library is seeing some opposition roughly a year after it made its debut.

Such programs have taken place around the U.S. for years and sometimes faced criticism. The Detroit Free Press reports some have voiced opposition to the Huntington Woods Library’s “Drag Queen Story Time” event, which started in 2017 and next is scheduled for Jan. 26.

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Murder charge filed in death of transgender woman

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DETROIT (AP) | Authorities say the transgender status of a woman played a role in her fatal shooting in Detroit.

Albert Weathers of Sterling Heights was charged Monday with murder in the death of Kelly Stough, who was found dead on a Detroit street Dec. 7.

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Gay rights lawyer, House speaker, indy candidate run for AG

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DETROIT (AP) | The three major candidates for Michigan attorney general have put criminals in prison during their law careers. But that’s where the parallels end.

Democrat Dana Nessel is best known for fighting to overturn Michigan’s ban on gay marriage. Tom Leonard, the Republican contender, is speaker of the House in Lansing. Chris Graveline is on the ballot as an independent.

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Suit over Michigan gay couples denied adoptions can proceed

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DETROIT (AP) | A federal judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit which says Michigan is illegally allowing faith-based groups to reject same-sex couples who want to adopt children or become foster parents.

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman said in an order issued Friday that the couples had successfully argued that the faith-based groups’ religious screening practices harmed them.

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Federal judge rules in favor of transgender employment discrimination

By : Wire Report
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DETROIT (AP) — A judge dismissed a lawsuit Aug. 18 filed on behalf of a transgender embalmer who was fired by a Detroit-area funeral home after disclosing that she was transitioning from male to female and would dress as a woman.

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox ruled that R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home didn’t discriminate against Aimee Stephens. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Garden City funeral home on behalf of Stephens, who was fired in 2013 after telling her employer she was transitioning.

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Michigan nuns to reconsider school policies

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) – The Catholic nuns who operate a suburban Detroit school plan to re-examine policies regarding the decision to fire a gay teacher after she became pregnant.

Sister Mary Jane Herb, president of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said in a letter to Marian High School alumnae Sept. 22 that the congregation has been inspired to view similar incidents with a different outlook, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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Gay Michigan teacher says pregnancy got her fired

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) – A former chemistry teacher at a suburban Detroit Catholic high school said she was fired after becoming pregnant in a gay marriage.

Barbara Webb, 33, of Madison Heights said she was fired from the all-girls Marian High School in August after working there for nine years. She notified employers of her pregnancy in July.

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Police investigating attack during a Detroit gay pride event

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DETROIT (AP) – Police are investigating a report by a 20-year-old gay man who said he was beaten by five to eight men during a gay pride celebration in downtown Detroit.

Officer Jennifer Moreno says Christin Howard was scheduled to speak June 10 with investigators. She says the attack was reported June 9.

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Michigan governor puts marriages on hold

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Detroit- Michigan state agencies won’t immediately recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages that were performed in the hours before an appeals court put on hold a judge’s ruling that tossed out a state ban on same-sex marriage, the governor’s office said March 23.

About 300 couples wed March 22 in four Michigan counties before a federal appeals court placed a stay on a Detroit federal judge’s decision on March 21 that overturned the state’s 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

“We are extremely sensitive to feelings on this issue and are hoping for a swift resolution for all involved,” said Sara Wurfel, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder.

The decision blocks Michigan’s county clerks from issuing new same-sex marriage licenses until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules whether to extend the stay.

Asked if that would prevent, for example, a newlywed gay couple from applying for adoption of children in the interim, Wurfel said that Snyder and his administration consider everything to be on hold for now.

“We are not saying that we aren’t or won’t recognize the marriages that happened on March 22, but that we’re awaiting further court or legal direction on this complex, unusual situation,” Wurfel said.

“Either way, this can’t be construed one way or another as not recognizing the validity of the same sex marriages.”

On Friday, March 21, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that a 2004 voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution that limited marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the U.S. Constitution’s right of equal protection.

The next day, clerks in Ingham, Oakland, Muskegon and Washtenaw counties opened their doors and began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Michigan has 83 counties. But later that day, the 6th Circuit froze the decision, saying the time-out would “allow a more reasoned consideration” of the state’s request to stop same-sex marriages.

Michigan has spent about $40,000 so far on experts whose testimony at a trial over same-sex marriage was panned as a “fringe viewpoint” and “entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration” by the judge.

Michigan lawsuit challenges marriage ban, flawed research

By : Wire Report
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Detroit (AP) – A federal judge said March 7 he expects to make a decision within two weeks in a challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Attorneys presented scientific data, expert testimony and arguments about constitutional protections before Judge Bernard Friedman in the case that has attracted attention because of the testimony of Mark Regnerus, a conservative social science researcher at the University of Texas.

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