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Gay Advocacy Group Equality Michigan Receives $3 Million Donation From Co-founder's Estate

Equality michigan

LGBT advocacy group Equality Michigan has received a $3 million donation from co-founder Dr. Henry Messer, reports Lansing State Journal.

Messer, a neurosurgeon, gay rights activist and co-founder of Triangle Foundation, which merged with Michigan Equality to form Equality Michigan in 2010, died in February at the age of 86.

With his partner of more than 60 years Carl House, Messer was a lifelong LGBTQ activist who got involved in the movement after being discharged from the military during World War II.

 

Equality Michigan announced that more than $1 million was given directly to the statewide anti-violence and political advocacy organization to support policy and victim services work, while another $2 million went to the organization’s endowment.

In a statement, Joy Geng, vice chair of the Equality Michigan board of trustees, said:

Messer"Henry [pictured far right with partner Carl House] was one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and one of my dearest friends. He dedicated his life to helping those most in need and did not just dream of a future where all LGBT people could live safely and openly, but committed his time, talent, and resources to making that dream a reality.

“Out of the tragedy that he did not live to see his dream fulfilled comes an historic opportunity for Equality Michigan to finish the work he started and make that dream come true for future generations. I am confident that our team will not let him down, and that his legacy will live on through the organization he loved so much for decades to come."


Detroit Area Catholic High School Administrators to Review Policies After Firing Pregnant Gay Teacher

Webb

Administrators at a Detroit-area Catholic high school have announced they will review policies and procedures following the controversial firing of a gay teacher who claimed she was sacked last month because of her pregnancy, The Detroit News reports:

Mary Jane Herb, president of the Monroe-based Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in a letter to supporters this week referred to "the recent employment matter" and "a complexity of issues" facing the Catholic church and its schools. She did not specifically name Barbara Webb, the teacher who was terminated last month from the private, all-girls Bloomfield Hills school.

"Consequently, we need to have ongoing education and a new lens through which to view issues and situations that are emerging," Herb wrote in the letter dated Monday. "Pope Francis has brought a sense of hope to our lives and encourages us to look at our Church with new eyes. No, it is not likely that doctrine will change, however the Pope emphasizes that the values of mercy, inclusion and compassion need to be included in our response to complex situations."

Earlier this month, Webb revealed that her termination letter didn't give any reasons for the firing, but that previous conversations with school officials pointed to her violating a morality clause allowing for firing over public conduct of "lifestyle or action directly contradictory to the Catholic faith."

The Detroit News adds that a change.org petition asking the high school to end its discriminatory anti-LGBT policies has gathered nearly 70,000 signatures.


Black Pastors Invoke Martin Luther King, Form Alliance Against Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO

Stacy swimp
(Pastor Stacy Swimp)

A coalition of black pastors and supporters has said it will file legal briefs in more than 80 court cases involving lawsuits to legalize same-sex marriage, reports The Detroit News.

Flint, Michigan Pastor Stacy Swimp said at a press conference yesterday that he also wants to see a boycott against black-owned media and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for supporting marriage equality.

The press conference was organized by the coalition and right wing legal groups Thomas More Law Center which is filing the briefs on the pastors’ behalf.

Swimp announced that the coalition’s members will speak out against judges who have ruled in favor of lifting voter-approved bans on gay marriage.

Claiming that marriage was defined by god, Swimp argued that the Constitution does not indicate “that equal justice under the law is relative to marriage redefinition."

Invoking Martin Luther King and with a massive lack of insight that prejudice exists outside the vacuum of his own little world, Swimp also announced on Facebook that he is "compelled to fight against the injustice of redefining marriage and against any and all false comparisons of sexual orientation to being Black- anywhere and everywhere that this hijacking of civil rights is taking place."

However, Benjamin Todd Jealous, the president and CEO of the NAACP said:

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”

Watch Swimp launch his defense of "traditional marriage," AFTER THE JUMP...

(Photo by Stacy Swimp.)

Continue reading "Black Pastors Invoke Martin Luther King, Form Alliance Against Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO" »


Gay Teacher at Detroit Area Catholic High School Says Pregnancy Cost Her Job: VIDEO

Webb

A gay former chemistry teacher at a Catholic, all-girls high school in suburban Detroit said she was fired because of her "nontraditional" pregnancy, the Detroit Free Press reports:

Barbara Webb, 33, of Madison Heights said she’d worked for Marian High School for nine years, also coaching volleyball and softball and serving as student-government moderator. She is gay but said she believes the public, visible nature of a pregnancy led to her firing.

She learned she was pregnant in June, told her employer in July and was fired in mid-August, Webb said. On Aug. 27 she posted on Facebook announcing the firing and encouraging people to “speak out against hate wherever you see it,” according to the post shared more than 1,000 times by Monday.

Today, Webb told the Free Press that her termination letter didn’t give a reason. But her previous conversation with administrators made clear the concerns had to do with a morality clause allowing for firing over public conduct of “lifestyle or actions directly contradictory to the Catholic faith,” she said.

“That you can’t hide a pregnancy from the public is why I was terminated,” she said

Watch a myFoxDetroit report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

School administrators have declined to comment, saying that the situation remains "confidential." Meanwhile, numerous students and alumni have spoken out in support of Webb and a Facebook page "I Stand With Barb Webb" has already gained over 2,000 members.

Continue reading "Gay Teacher at Detroit Area Catholic High School Says Pregnancy Cost Her Job: VIDEO" »


Teen Arrested in Connection With Beating of Gay Man at Detroit’s Gay Pride Festival

Detroit

Police have arrested a 16-year-old in connection with the beating of Christin Howard – the 20-year-old Detroit gay man taunted and attacked by a group of males during the Motor City Pride festival earlier this month.

Detroit Free Press  reports:

Christin Howard“I know that they will catch the rest of them,” Tammara Howard said. “Thank God they caught this one. Those guys were totally wrong with what they did to my son. If there are people walking around here that cruel and mean, everyone wants justice and wants those boys to go to jail.”

Detroit Police Officer Jennifer Moreno said Friday afternoon that the juvenile is in custody and a warrant request has been forwarded to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Details of the allegations against the juvenile haven’t yet been released. Moreno said several witnesses have come forward to help identify multiple suspects.

Tammara Howard called the beating “disgusting” and said her son is recovering well from the attack, which left him with a fractured finger, damage to his left eye and several bruises on his back and face.


Gay Man Beaten at Detroit’s Gay Pride Festival Over the Weekend: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 8.42.33 AM

A 20-year-old gay man, Christin Howard, was beaten down by a group of homophobic attackers Sunday at Detroit’s Motor City Pride – a disturbing assault that was captured on video by a bystander.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 8.42.58 AMWXYZ reports:

Howard says the attack was unprovoked and that he was getting a picture taken with a friend when the young men started circling, commenting on his long hair, calling him homophobic slurs and threatening with violence. 

“Then somebody said they had a gun,” said Christin. 

Although no gun was pulled during the assault, Christin was left on the scene with a bruised and bloody eye, abrasions, and a broken finger. 

Police have yet to make any arrests but are investigating the case as a hate crime. 

Watch a WXYZ report on the assault, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Man Beaten at Detroit’s Gay Pride Festival Over the Weekend: VIDEO" »


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