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LGBTQ

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A state lawmaker says Michigan should expand its hate crime law.

State Senator Adam Hollier says the law should also cover violence or intimidation based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. He says the threats against LGBT people are real, and range from threats and assault to murder.

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Today on Stateside, we talk to a business leader who wants legal protections for LGBTQ people, and a gay politician who says they are not needed. Plus, an updated system for driverless cars is being tested on the streets of Detroit. Are people ready for them?

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in its first-ever case dealing with transgender rights.

The Michigan transgender woman at the center of it all will be there watching.

Samantha Forsyth and Grace Trudell
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Today on Stateside, what does the ongoing United Auto Workers strike against General Motors tell us about the role of American labor in the nation's economy today? Plus, two women at opposite ends of the same career path talk about what it takes to succeed in the male-dominated electrical trade.

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Today on Stateside, do federal protections against sex discrimination extend to transgender people? A federal appeals court ruled that yes, they do. We'll talk with the lawyer who's asking the U.S. Supreme Court to come to the opposite conclusion. Plus, we’ll talk about Detroit country music ahead of a new Ken Burns documentary about this "uniquely American art form.”

Jay Kaplan and Aimee Stephens stand next to each other
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Aimee Stephens took months to compose a letter to her employer in July 2013. It read: 

“With the support of my loving wife, I have decided to become the person that my mind already is. I cannot begin to describe the shame and suffering that I have lived with. At the end of my vacation on August 26, 2013, I will return to work as my true self, Aimee Australia Stephens, in appropriate business attire.” 

These words propelled Stephens into the heart of a legal case soon to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court ─ a potentially landmark case for the future of LGBTQ rights in this country.

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Today on Stateside, a Detroit-based company tries to mediate the “plague” of tax foreclosures in the city of Detroit. Plus, we hear from a judge who might have made a legal path for LGBTQ people to go to court for discrimination even though there are no civil rights protections for them in Michigan.

For LGBT elders, inclusive housing and long-term care can be hard to find

Aug 9, 2019
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Some 4.7 million LGBT older adults — known as the “Stonewall Generation” — will be seeking elder care services by 2030. But are our long-term senior living communities equipped to accommodate the needs of gay and transgender residents?

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Today on Stateside, former Michigander Jimmy Aldaoud was deported to Iraq, a country he had never been to, in June. This week, his family says he died after not being able to obtain insulin for his diabetes. We talk to a family friend about what happened. Plus, the challenges of finding inclusive long-term care facilities when you're an LGBT senior.

 

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The ACLU of Michigan is asking a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit filed by parents against the Williamston Community School Board.

The lawsuit claims a board policy that’s supposed to protect LGBTQ students from harassment is unfair to their children – and that it violates their First Amendment rights.

Jay Kaplan is an ACLU attorney. He says the policy protects the rights of LGBTQ students.

The Stonewall Inn is a sacred place for many in the LGBTQ community. Fifty years ago, a raid and series of riots outside the New York City bar helped launch a civil rights movement.

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Today on Stateside, how two new major US Supreme Court decisions will impact Michigan. Plus, with the anniversary of the Stonewall riots this Friday, we look at the history of the gay rights movement in Michigan.

 

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / flickr

 

In Michigan, you can be fired because you are gay. You can be denied housing in some instances. You can be denied service at a restaurant, a bar, a wedding cake baker. But that might be changing.

There's a bill in the state Legislature that would extend protections for LGBTQ folks under what's known as the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act.

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says the state Civil Rights Commission is not bound by her predecessor's determination that LGBTQ people are not protected by an anti-discrimination law. 

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Today on Stateside, lawmakers are again proposing an expansion of the state's Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for Michigan’s LGBTQ citizens. Plus, how the wet, cold spring has impacted Michigan farmers this growing season. 

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / flickr

The Supreme Court will decide whether federal civil rights law prohibits discrimination against transgender people when it takes up a Michigan case involving a R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes.

The lawsuit involves Aimee Stephens, a funeral home director at R.G. and G.R. Harris, which operates three funeral homes in Michigan, who was fired after disclosing that she was transitioning from male to female and dressed as a woman.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued on behalf of Stephens.

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Today on Stateside, as General Motors prepares to close the company's Detroit-Hamtramck plant, how is the city of Hamtramck preparing for life after GM? Plus, a treasure trove of Anishinaabe art from Michigan is now on permanent display in Vienna, Austria.

Quinn Robinson is only 18 years old, but she has already learned some hard lessons about the world. "It's scary being a trans person because I know there are people out there who just hate me for being myself," she says. "There's been kids who have approached me and say, 'Hey, you should burn in hell.' "

Robinson is a high school senior in Allendale, Mich., a small but growing town about 30 minutes outside Grand Rapids and smack dab in the middle of what's known as the state's "Bible Belt." Drive off the main road and you quickly find yourself in farm country.

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Today on Stateside, the nation's second largest Protestant denomination voted Tuesday to reaffirm the church's ban on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. We talk to two United Methodist pastors about what it means for the church going forward. Plus, 67 years ago, a young activist named Coleman A. Young went toe-to-toe with congressmen on the feared House Un-American Activities Committee over allegations that he was involved with the Communist Party.  

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed her ninth executive order Monday at Ferndale’s Affirmations, a community center for the LGBTQ community.

The order extends non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ state employees. It also mandates those protections for LGBTQ people who work for state contractors, or receive state services.

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Huntington Woods has been targeted by an anti-LGBTQ group over their library's Drag Queen Storytime for children.

The program started last year as a way to provide children with queer role models. It was so popular it overflowed its original room at the library and is being held off-site. Now, an anti-LGBTQ group from Massachusetts is trying to stop storytime with a phone and email campaign.

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Today on Stateside, we get an explainer on Proposal 2. That's the anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal that would change how the maps for legislative and congressional districts are drawn. Plus, a look at the discrimination members of the LGTBTQ community face in Michigan, even after the legalization of gay marriage. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below

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Today on Stateside, our education commentator explains why teachers shouldn’t shy away from talking about politics in the classroom. Plus, we hear about allegations against the Detroit Medical Center that claim the hospital fired several doctors after they raised concerns about dirty surgical instruments and other problems.

Listen to the full show or find individual segments below.

Detroit Medical Center under investigation after new allegations of dirty surgical instruments

Bill Schuette getting sworn in as attorney general.
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There's a tug-of-war happening between the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and Attorney General Bill Schuette. In the middle of it lies Michigan’s LGBTQ community.

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The Michigan Civil Rights Commission says it will continue to include LGBTQ people as a group protected under anti-discrimination law, no matter what Michigan’s Attorney General says.

In May, the civil rights commission decided to include LGBTQ individuals as members of a protected class under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

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The ACLU of Michigan wants a federal judge to let its discrimination lawsuit against the state move forward.

The ACLU says a policy that lets faith-based child placement agencies under contract with the state withhold services for religious reasons is unconstitutional. Multiple same sex couples say they were turned away when they tried to adopt from these organizations that receive state money.

The state says there are other agencies for same-sex couples to use.

Leslie Cooper is with the ACLU of Michigan. She says the state’s argument doesn’t hold up.

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Gay rights, Roe v. Wade, climate change and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). These are just a few of the references that state Senator Patrick Colbeck and a group of conservative leaders hope to eliminate from K-12 public school social studies curriculum.

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Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and House Speaker Tom Leonard have asked Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to issue an opinion on a controversial decision by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.

The commission said last month it would consider housing, employment and public accommodation  discrimination claims by LGBTQ people under the state's anti-discrimination law (ELCRA) -- because the category of "sex" in the act should be interpreted to include sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as the more traditional understanding of sex.

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The state Department of Civil Rights has started accepting complaints from people who say they face discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s after a state commission voted this week to change its interpretation of Michigan’s civil rights law.

David Kallman is an attorney who says he will defend people accused of LGBT discrimination. He says the commission has no right to suddenly change the rules.

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission defends humanity

May 22, 2018
LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / flickr

Let’s say there had been a Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 1961, and it announced that it was going to start investigating claims of discrimination against black people.

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