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LGBTQ

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Today on Stateside, a federal judge has invalidated Michigan's Medicaid work requirements. Republican leaders in the state Legislature are already pushing back. What does this mean for the more than 200,000 people in the state subject to those requirements? Plus, we'll talk about how the Democratic candidates for president stack up when it comes to addressing the concerns of black voters.

four of the drag queens from MI Drag brunch
Michigan Drag Brunch

On Sunday mornings, the West Michigan brunch scene gets served a meal full of realness, thanks to the drag queens of Michigan Drag Brunch. The project is the brainchild of producer and CEO Trevor Straub and performer Gabriella Galore. They said the project started as a way to bring the drag scene to an earlier morning crowd in Grand Rapids.

Heather Johnson

A former University of Michigan-Flint employee has filed a federal lawsuit against the university, alleging she was fired for advocating for better resources for LGBTQ students.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan will get a new leader this weekend, and it will be a historic event on two fronts.

The Reverend Bonnie Perry will be consecrated as bishop at a ceremony in Dearborn on Saturday. She will become the first woman and first openly-LGBTQ person to lead the diocese, which covers 77 Episcopal congregations in southeast Michigan.

Ruth Ellis
Sarah Uhle

Ruth Ellis was one of the oldest openly gay black women in the world when she died at 101 years old in 2000. She was born in 1899, 36 years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, and 15 years before the First World War started.

This was a time when our country was hostile to women, black people, and gay people. Ellis just happened to be all three.

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The stories of great activists are recorded in history books. Their words are quoted by politicians long after their movements have instigated large scale change. For the most part, history focuses on what activists accomplished. That can obscure the personal trials and tribulations of activists who organize and strengthen movements. We spoke to two activists, on opposite sides of the political spectrum, about the personal costs of a life of activism.

group of faith leaders standing in a church
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A group of faith leaders gathered in Grand Rapids on Tuesday to address the lack of legal protections for LGBTQ people in Michigan.

There is nothing currently in Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act explicitly banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Today on Stateside, a new campaign wants to add protections for LGBTQ people to the state's existing civil rights law. Plus, a conversation with a Detroit-born author and Instagram influencer who wants to challenge stereotypes about fat, black, and Muslim women. 

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A petition campaign will start gathering signatures to add protections for LGBTQ people to Michigan’s civil rights law. 

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / flickr

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
Sam Corey / Michigan Radio

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
Rowan Niemisto / WDET

 


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.

foreclosure sign outside old home
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

 

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?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

 

 

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.

Why We Remember Stonewall

Jun 28, 2019

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.

Courtesy of the MI Supreme Court

 

 

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.

a beaded canoe that's in display in Austria
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

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.

Laura D'Alessandro / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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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