2001 Voting Victories for GLBT Rights in Michigan
Three victories for GLBT rights in Michigan
Efforts to deny civil rights protections for GLBT persons in Michigan were defeated by Michigan voters on November 6, 2001.
In Traverse City and Kalamazoo, voters defeated proposed charter amendments that would have denied civil rights protections to gay, lesbian and bisexual persons, based on orientation, conduct or relationships. In Huntington Woods, voters overwhelmingly supported amending their human rights ordinance to include the sexual orientation and gender identity.
These anti-gay ballot measures, inspired and initiated by the American Family Association (AFA) were soundly defeated by voters in Kalamazoo 54% to 46% and in Traverse City 58% to 42%. Efforts by the AFA and other local groups to incite fears regarding protections for GLBT persons against discrimination included unfounded statements that cities would be forced to allow men to shower with women and children at city pools, boy scouts would be prohibited from using city services, and that priests would be forced to marry same sex couples.
Protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is neither a special right nor radical concept. It is a statement that people are to be judged by their merits- to do a job, to be a responsible neighbor and citizen and not by characteristics unrelated to their ability to contribute to society. Congratulations to the voters in Huntington Woods who demonstrated that they are in step with this core value of our country's constitutional history and to the communities of Traverse City and Kalamazoo who have made it clear that they are not interested in taking backward steps when it comes to civil rights.