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LGBTQ

Hand holding rainbow LGBTQ flag
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The Michigan Court of Appeals is the next stop for the petition campaign to add LTBTQ protections to the state civil rights law. That’s after a bipartisan state board unanimously agreed that Fair and Equal Michigan’s petition drive fell short, largely based on its collection of electronic signatures.

Fair and Equal Michigan wants to get its initiative before the Legislature or on the 2022 ballot.

Hand holding rainbow LGBTQ flag
Stavrialena Gontzou / unsplash.com

A state board will meet Monday to determine whether an initiative to expand Michigan’s civil rights law to include LGBTQ protections will move ahead.

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, what the national opioid settlement could mean for Michigan. Also, the founding of Detroit’s long-lived and well-loved Black LGBTQ Pride event, Hotter Than July. Plus, Matthew Milia’s new record, delivers lovely, if angsty odes to summer in Keego Harbor.

people collecting signatures
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan elections bureau has determined that a ballot drive to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people failed to collect enough valid voter signatures.

A report says that Fair and Equal Michigan gathered nearly 299,000 signatures, short of the roughly 340,000 needed. Election staffers ruled signatures ineligible because the signers weren't registered voters or there were address or other errors.

A blue, geometric framework with flowers
Cyrah Dardas

Detroit artist, educator, and organizer Cyrah Dardas is making the art she wants to see in her community. But sometimes, getting integrated into a community as a queer artist is challenging. Luckily, that was not Dardas’ experience coming to Detroit.

Joe Aasim

With a global pandemic, major social movements, and crucial political events all occurring within the past year, finding reasons to laugh has been challenging. After a year of empty venues, comedians are eager to return to the stage. 

the trans pride flag the transgender pride flag
Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued an opinion calling Michigan's requirement of proof of sex-reassignment surgery to change the gender on an individual's birth certificate "unconstitutional."

This comes after Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director, Elizabeth Hertel, made a formal request for the attorney general's opinion regarding the issue in February. 

LGBT flag.
Guillaume Paumier / Flickr

Today on Stateside, changes to auto insurance's medical care funding formula are happening in Michigan. Critics fear many catastrophic car crash victims will end up in nursing homes at taxpayers' expense. Next up, we are re-airing a year of homeschooling and self-determination for Black families as they make their decisions to keep their children homeschooled or prepare them for traditional school. The second re-air is a conversation with a Detroit based LGBTQ muralist. Lastly, an Ypsilanti youth choir's pandemic journey to create innovative ways to sing together.

Today on Stateside, Republicans in the Legislature advance bills to change election law in Michigan, one day after saying there was no fraud in the 2020 election. Then, how gay nightclubs and bars in Michigan gave rise to a vibrant drag culture. And, a movie studio in Lansing aims to open with high hopes of bringing the film industry, and talent, back to Michigan.  

Bakpak Durden

Murals by Bakpak Durden that glaze through the streets of Russell, Brush, and Hazelwood -- covering a Detroit vs. Everybody store, the Brush Street Viaduct, and LGBT Detroit -- have illuminated the city.

A self-taught interdisciplinary artist, Durden began their work years ago, making small pieces out of items found around the house and selling them to the two people who loved them most.

University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the son of longtime University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler went on record to say that he, too, was abused by former UM doctor Robert Anderson. Also, a review of this week’s big auto industry reveal: Ford’s new hybrid mini-truck. Plus, one art fan’s collection, and the personal statement it reflects about gay identity.

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Today on Stateside, a look at where Michigan stands with COVID-19 infections, vaccinations, and power machinations. Also, an exploration of writer Ernest Hemingway’s summers in northern Michigan. Plus, a West Michigan musician discusses how performance and therapy intersect in her work, and how her creative life has changed amid the pandemic.

Book cover of "Gut Botany"
Wayne State University Press

The strangeness and beauty of bodies and how we live in them is a theme that weaves itself throughout poet Petra Kuppers’ work. These are intensely personal interests for Kuppers. She’s a University of Michigan professor who lectures on writing, disability culture, and queer culture. Kuppers uses a wheelchair and lives with chronic pain. And she says the process of poetry— observing and distilling her experiences through writing— is a healing one. 

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / flickr

With bipartisan support, the Michigan Senate is formally recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

Lawmakers adopted a formal resolution Thursday with bipartisan support. 16 Senate Democrats and two Republicans signed on as co-sponsors.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday joined LGBTQ rights leaders to call on the Legislature to send her a bill to expand Michigan’s civil rights law.

She said the alternative could be for GOP leaders to defend their inaction in the face of an initiative on the 2022 ballot.

The governor said, with an allusion to the COVID-19 crisis, that she’s ready to sign a bill, calling it “the right thing to do.”

Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to formally throw her support behind legislation to add LGBTQ protections to Michigan’s civil rights law on Monday.

Historically, votes on similar bills have been blocked by GOP leaders.

Hand holding rainbow LGBTQ flag
Stavrialena Gontzou / unsplash.com

Today on Stateside, a major Michigan-based adoption agency is opening up adoption to LGBTQ parents. We spoke with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who has spent years fighting for LGBTQ families. Plus, a conversation with artist Elizabeth Youngblood about how learning to weave inspired the delicate lines of her sculptures and drawings. 

man wearing a rainbow wristband holds the hand of a child
XavierLorenzo / Adobe Stock

Bethany Christian Services now says it’s open to placing children in homes with LGBTQ parents. The change applies nationwide.

Bethany is headquartered in Grand Rapids. It’s one of the nation’s largest providers of adoption and foster care services.

Serenity Mitchell / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, COVID has turned life upside down for many people. For homeless LGBTQ youth, their lives were already in a state of crisis. We speak with two people at the Ruth Ellis Center about what life looks like for these youths right now. Plus, Detroit extended its water shutoff moratorium until 2023. What that will mean for residents and the city.

flickr user Charlie Nguyen / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign that seeks to amend Michigan's civil rights law to add anti-discrimination protection for LGBTQ people has submitted more than 483,000 petition signatures to state election officials, according to an announcement by the group on Tuesday.

Terry Gonda
Courtesy of Terry Gonda

Terry Gonda says she is devoted to the Catholic Church, despite being fired on Wednesday from her job as a part-time music director at a suburban Detroit parish because she is in a same-sex marriage.

In a June 12 email, Father Michael LeFevre, the current pastor of St. John Fisher Chapel University Parish in Auburn Hills, told Gonda that she was going to be fired.

Jelmer Assink / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we’re checking in with the owner of a gym and personal training facility to see how he’s approaching reopening in light of an appeals court decision upholding Governor Whitmer’s order to keep gyms closed to limit the spread of COVID-19 yesterday. Also, a conversation with Jim Toy, who has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTQ rights in Michigan for more than five decades.

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Jim Toy sitting and State Rep Yousef Rahbi standing on stage
Courtesy of Jim Toy Center

This year’s Pride Month celebrations coincided with a major victory for the LGBTQ community. The U.S. Supreme Court last week ruled that workplace protections outlined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to gay and transgender people. 

The ruling comes after decades of work by activists in Michigan and elsewhere to expand legal rights and protections for the LGBTQ community. One of those activists is Jim Toy. 

Hand holding rainbow LGBTQ flag
Stavrialena Gontzou / unsplash.com

A petition campaign to add LGBTQ protections to Michigan’s civil rights law is deciding its next steps.

That’s after a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday that LGBTQ rights are already guaranteed by federal law.

pride flag
Liam McGarry on Unsplash

The campaign to add LGBTQ rights to Michigan’s civil rights law has more time to collect signatures, but not in time to make the November 2020 ballot.

That decision came Wednesday from a Michigan Court of Claims judge. She said restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19 deprived the Fair and Equal Michigan campaign of the right to petition the government. But she also refused to reduce the required number of signatures.

a rainbow chalk covered sidewalk
Jasmin Sessler / Unsplash

Like most things during this pandemic, Pride Month is looking a little different this year. Many of the normal gatherings and celebrations have been cancelled. Meanwhile, protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd continue to spread across the nation. Amid the unrest and uncertainty, some activists see this Pride Month as particularly poignant. Stateside spoke with Erin Knott, executive director at Equality Michigan, and Selma Tucker with Public Sector Consultants in Lansing about the connections between the fight for LGBTQ rights and the fight for racial justice. 

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, less driving statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic means insurance companies need to distribute refunds. We find out about what this means for drivers, as well as how they’ll be affected by upcoming changes to the state’s no-fault law. Also, a look at how the history of LGBTQ Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement intersect. Plus, social media’s relationship to social change.

wood gavel in front of book
sergign / Adobe Stock

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign filed suit Tuesday in state court seeking an injunction that would reduce the number of signatures required and extend the deadline for the petition drive to amend the state's civil rights law

The group alleges it is impossible to collect the 340,042 signatures required by state law by May 27 due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Aimee Stephens, the Michigan woman at the center of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court civil rights case, died on Tuesday.

Stephens was fired from a Garden City funeral home when she publicly transitioned from male to female in 2013. The resulting legal case asked a fundamental question: do laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex apply to LGBTQ people?

doctor holding red stethoscope
Unsplash

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.

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