Grand Rapids-area pastor denies Holy Communion to gay judge

By : wire report
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ABOVE: St. Stephen Church, photo via St. Stephen’s Facebook page.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) | The Roman Catholic Church in western Michigan is defending a priest’s decision to deny Holy Communion to a popular judge in a same-sex marriage.

Judge Sara Smolenski said the Rev. Scott Nolan privately informed her on Nov. 23, about a week after last receiving Communion from him at St. Stephen Church in East Grand Rapids. It has been her lifelong parish – she gave $7,000 for a building project – although she said she hadn’t regularly attended the church for months.

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Transgender woman in Supreme Court case is ‘happy being me’

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Aimee Stephens. (Photo from Facebook)

FERNDALE, Michigan (AP) | Aimee Stephens lost her job at a suburban Detroit funeral home and she could lose her Supreme Court case over discrimination against transgender people. Amid her legal fight, her health is failing.

But seven years after Stephens thought seriously of suicide and six years after she announced that she would henceforth be known as Aimee instead of Anthony, she has something no one can take away.

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HRO targeting biased crime reports passes in Michigan city

By : Wire Report
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) | A human rights ordinance approved for a west Michigan city includes penalties for violators, including those who dial 911 to try to use police to enforce their own bigotry.

The Grand Rapids City Commission passed the updated ordinance Aug. 27 following months of work to develop and revise the measure, which takes effect Dec. 1.

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YouTuber buys ‘Hell, Michigan,’ changes name to ‘Gay Hell’ in Trump protest

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Elijah Daniel. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Gay YouTuber Elijah Daniel decided to protest the Trump Administration’s ban on U.S. embassies flying Pride flags by buying a whole town.

Daniel, 25, purchased Hell, Michigan from its owner John Colone. He is only the temporary owner of the town, which is a five-acre commercial property with an estimated population of 70 people. It’s unclear how much Daniel paid to be the temporary owner of the town but Colone did have the town listed on the market for $900,00 back in 2016.

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Ex-Chicago sergeant faces felony counts in gay club fight

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CHICAGO (AP) _ A former Chicago police sergeant has been charged in an attack at a gay club last year that left two men seriously injured.

Chicago police said on May 7 that 45-year-old Eric J. Elkins faces two felony aggravated battery counts in the Sept. 29 attack. Another man, 34-year-old Giovanni Rodriguez of Chicago, also faces felony counts.

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Gay rights activist accused of setting own home on fire

By : wire report
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JACKSON, Mich. | Michigan police say a transgender, gay rights activist tried to fabricate a hate crime by setting his home on fire.

Nikki Joly’s attorney, Daniel Barnett, says the evidence is circumstantial. The 54-year-old Joly was charged last year with first-degree arson in the August 2017 fire that killed five pets. The Detroit News reports that a hearing is scheduled for March 8.

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Commission poised to seek AG’s opinion on LGBT protections

By : wire report
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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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New Michigan, Wisconsin guvs sign orders against anti-LGBT bias

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Newly seated governors in Michigan and Wisconsin signed on Jan. 7 executive orders against anti-LGBT discrimination as among the first acts in their new roles.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order ED 2019-9, which bars discrimination against LGBT people in state employment, public services and state contracting.

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Murder charge filed in death of transgender woman

By : wire report
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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

By : wire report
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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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Former Michigan corrections officer sues over discrimination

By : wire report
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HOWELL, Mich. (AP)| A former Michigan corrections officer has sued the state Department of Corrections, alleging the agency discriminated against her based on sexual orientation and race.

Ashley Menchaca, who is Hispanic and gay, worked at Woodland Center Facility in Whitmore Lake from January 2016 until she resigned May 2017, the Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported. The original complaint was filed in March and then amended in June to list the corrections department as the sole defendant.

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Suit over Michigan gay couples denied adoptions can proceed

By : wire report
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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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