list of individuals and groups recognizing the importance and
need of uniting against discrimination is rapidly growing! In
Michigan recently added to the list are the AFL-CIO and the Michigan
WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES AND OUR POLITICAL LEADERS STAND?
CONTACT THEM AND LET US KNOW!
Forward any position statements to here.
We’ll post them here and, if we have enough information,
send out a JUSTICE ACTION ALERT.
Link for elected officials contact: http://congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/
Additional contact information including phone numbers - House:
Additional contact information - Senate: http://www.senate.gov/
WHERE MICHIGAN'S POLITICIANS STAND:
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm:
Sunday, October 03, 2004
By Peter Luke
Throughout her first two years in office, Gov. Jennifer Granholm
has been criticized for failing to take decisive stands, lest
an unpopular position dent her 65 percent approval rating. Some
of it has been justified, some of it hasn't.
Three months after the Citizens for the Protection of Marriage
filed their signatures that put a gay marriage ban on the Nov.
2 ballot, Granholm has yet to put her considerable communications
skills to work in opposition.
When asked by reporters, the governor will say she's voting "no."
A constituent who writes will receive a position statement in
return, which is: While she supports the definition of marriage
as the union of a man and woman, the constitutional ban goes too
far and is unnecessary and divisive.
"I am particularly concerned about this initiative because
I believe it is designed to divide Americans by trying to use
our state and federal institutions to cause pain for some of our
families for largely political purposes," Granholm writes
in her letter. "The constitution should be a shield used
to protect the rights of our citizens, not a sword to hurt them
by interfering in their most personal relationships."
Rep. remains resolute against marriage amendment
By D'Anne Witkowski
Originally printed 10/21/04 (Issue 1243 - pridesource.com)FARMINGTON
- Despite the heat he faced in the August primary, Republican
State Representative Lorence Wenke (Kalamazoo-Calhoun) is standing
firm in his opposition to Proposal 2, the so-called "marriage
In an Oct. 14 Western Herald Online article Wenke said he was
against Proposal 2, calling it "unfair to our gay and lesbian
families. This is social policy and does not belong in the state
In addition, Wenke challenged proponents' claims that the amendment
was only about marriage. Coalition for a Fair Michigan, a group
formed to oppose the amendment, maintains that the amendment's
wording is so broad as to ban civil unions and domestic partner
benefits for gay and straight couples in Michigan. "Sen.
Cropsey, who is one of the senators sponsoring this proposal,
told me personally that it will prohibit taxpayer-funded institutions,
like universities and city governments, from providing domestic
partner benefits," Wenke told the Western Herald.
Wenke was one of only three Republican Representatives to vote
against putting the issue on the Nov. ballot when it was before
the House in March, 2004. Although he is not in favor of marriage
for same-sex couples, he called the measure discriminatory.
As a result of his vote, the right wing targeted Wenke for defeat
in the Aug. 3 primary. Wenke was challenged by former Rep. Jerry
Vander Roest who criticized Wenke's vote on the marriage proposal.
Wenke fended off his challenger by only a handful of votes,
raising over $230,000 according to a July 25 article in the
Battle Creek Enquirer, $183,000 of which was his own money.
In contrast, Vander Roest's campaign spent less than $11,000.
Vander Roest, who made "family values" an issue in
his campaign, has been divorced and was once arrested in a prostitution
sting according to a July 31, 2004 article in the Battle Creek
Pride PAC President Sean Kosofsky praised Wenke. "Lorence
displayed incredible courage and leadership in voting against
HJRU and everyone who cares about fairness and non-discrimination
should support his campaign financially and otherwise."
Kosofsky added, "He's so committed to community service
and so committed to fairness we need to reward him."
Read Republican Lorence Wenke's explanation for his nay vote
on the proposed marriage amendment, from the JOURNAL
OF THE HOUSE.
Read Republican Rep. Leon Drolet's explanation for his nay vote
on the proposed marriage amendment, from the JOURNAL
OF THE HOUSE.
opposes Proposal 2
Ballot initiative would infringe on bargaining rights of employees
September 22, 2004
EAST LANSING, Mich., Sept. 22, 2004 - The Michigan Education Association
(MEA) opposes Proposal 2 on Michigan's Nov. 2 ballot because it
would infringe on the bargaining rights of public employees.
Proposal 2 would amend the state constitution to provide that
"the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be
the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for
This proposal would ban domestic partner benefits offered by public
employers, including state universities and school districts.
Where they exist, those benefits have been negotiated through
"It's a bargaining issue," said Al Short, MEA director
of Government Affairs. MEA members in K-12 districts and institutions
of higher education - including Ann Arbor Public Schools and Michigan
State University - have negotiated domestic partner benefits into
As is the case with other statewide ballot issues and/or candidates,
the MEA's Statewide Screening and Recommendation Committee considered
the merits of the ballot initiative. The member-driven committee
objected to the collective bargaining implications of Proposal
2, Short said.
MEA represents more than 160,000 public school employees statewide,
including K-12 teachers and support staff, and faculty and staff
at institutions of higher education.
From the Michigan Education Association
AFL-CIO Opposes Proposal 2
Proposal 2, a misleading constitutional amendment described
by its backers as a "gay marriage ban," would take
away many rights and benefits already enjoyed by Michigan families
and prohibit all public employers from continuing to offer health
and pension benefits through domestic partnerships.
In a press conference earlier today, Michigan AFL-CIO President
Mark Gaffney indicated that the organization views Proposal
2 as a cynical and divisive political ploy. He said that the
AFL-CIO opposes the measure because it would take away benefits
that have already been negotiated into union contracts. Further,
he indicated that the AFL-CIO views Proposal 2 as totally unnecessary,
noting that same-sex marriage is already illegal in Michigan.
Gay Marriage Supporters Gain Powerful Ally
Posted: October 4, 2004 8:19 pm ET
(Columbus, Ohio) The American Association of Retired People has
announced its opposition to a proposed amendment to the Ohio state
constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.
Voters will decide the gay marriage issue in November.
The AARP which has some 35 million members nationwide said that
if the amendment is accepted it "will have unfair and injurious
consequences for many older adults."
“State Issue One would deny property ownership rights, inheritance,
pensions, power of attorney and other matters of vital interest
to the health and well being of unmarried older couples,"
AARP Ohio said in a statement.
The support from the association is a major boost for opponents
of the proposed amendment. Older citizens are more likely to vote.
Polls taken before the AARP announcement show that the measure
is likely to pass.
Attorney General Jim Petro (R), Ohio State University , the League
of Women Voters of Ohio, and business leaders across Ohio have
already stated their support for defeating the amendment.
Court efforts to block the vote were rejected last month. (story)
Eleven states will vote on similar amendments in November.
Workers Come Out in Support of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
NEW YORK – The National Association of Social Workers filed
a friend-of-the-court brief today in support of the American Civil
Liberties Union's lawsuit seeking marriage for same-sex couples
in New York.
“Lesbian and gay people are capable of being perfectly fine
parents, and their families need the same protections and safeguards
that the families of different-sex couples receive through marriage,”
said Robert Schachter, DSW, Executive Director of the New York
City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, which
includes 10,000 professional social workers. “It's time
that we put aside our outdated ideas about marriage and recognize
that allowing same-sex couples to marry will only strengthen families
and benefit children.”
The brief, which points to decades of social science research
proving that gay couples are just as capable of being good parents
as straight couples, debunks arguments by marriage equality opponents
that allowing same-sex couples to marry would somehow be harmful
The brief notes that every mainstream child advocacy and mental
health organization, including the National Association of Social
Workers, the Child Welfare League of America, the American Academy
of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the North
American Council on Adoptable Children, oppose restrictions on
parenting by gay people.
Today, the ACLU also filed a reply brief in the case responding
to arguments made by the state, which is defending the state law
that discriminates against same-sex couples in marriage. All briefing
in the case is scheduled to be completed by September 3, 2004
. The court is expected to issue a decision in the case sometime
The ACLU brought the lawsuit on behalf of 13 same-sex couples,
many of whom had hoped to be married by New Paltz Mayor Jason
West but were unable to do so after he was forced to stop performing
marriages for same-sex couples. The lawsuit charges that state
law prohibiting same-sex couples from marriage violates the state
constitution's guarantees of equality and due process.
Since the lawsuit was filed, two separate New York judges have
dismissed criminal charges against Mayor West and others who performed
marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. In dismissing the criminal
charges, both judges found that it was unconstitutional for the
state to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest
membership organization of professional social workers in the
world, with 153,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional
growth and development of its members, to create and maintain
professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.
Learn more about NASW by visiting its website at http://socialworkers.org/
, and about the Kansas chapter by visiting http://knasw.com/ .
The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation's guardian of
liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities
to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that
the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone
in this country. The ACLU is non-profit and non-partisan. Our
membership has grown from a roomful of civil liberties activists
at our founding in 1920 to an organization of more than 400,000
members and supporters, with local offices that cover every state
in the nation. The Lesbian and Gay Rights Project is a special
division of the ACLU that was founded in 1986. The goal of the
Project is equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people. That means no discrimination by government, no discrimination
in employment, housing, schools and public places, and fair treatment
of LGBT families and relationships.
Biographical information about the couples represented by the
ACLU as well as legal documents
SUPPORTS LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX CIVIL MARRIAGES AND OPPOSES
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LESBIAN AND GAY PARENTS
Denying Same-Sex Couples Legal Access to Civil Marriage is Discriminatory
and Can Adversely Affect the Psychological, Physical, Social and
Economic Well-Being of Gay and Lesbian Individuals
HONOLULU – Prohibiting civil marriage for same-sex couples
is discriminatory and unfairly denies such couples, their children
and other members of their families the legal, financial and social
advantages of civil marriage says the American Psychological Association’s
(APA) Council of Representatives in a resolution adopted today.
The APA also opposed discrimination against lesbian or gay parents
adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care and reproductive
Both policy positions were adopted at the recommendation of an
APA Working Group on Same-Sex Families and Relationships. The
Working Group, appointed by the APA Council of Representatives
in February 2004, was charged with developing policy recommendations
for APA that would guide psychologists in the current public debate
over civil marriage for same-sex couples. The Working Group was
directed further to base its policy recommendations on the research
on same-sex relationships and families.
This seven-member team of psychologists with a combination of
both scientific expertise in family and couple relations and professional
expertise with lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations summarized
the research that discrimination and prejudice based on sexual
orientation detrimentally affects the psychological, physical,
social and economic well-being of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals,
that same-sex couples are remarkably similar to heterosexual couples,
and that parenting effectiveness and the adjustment, development
and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental
"The APA recognizes the importance of the institution of
civil marriage which confers a social status with important legal
benefits, rights and privileges," said psychologist Armand
R. Cerbone, who is a private practitioner in Chicago and chair
of the working group. "Discrimination of all kinds takes
a toll on people's health and psychological well being. In the
context of the huge social and political debate that is currently
going on, APA and psychologists had to grapple with the issue
of what psychology believes is in the public interest in this
Given what research tells us about the impact of discrimination
and given that the research further provides no justification
for discriminating against same-sex couples in marriage or in
parenting, the Working Group strongly recommended that APA support
states in providing civil marriage to same-sex couples and fully
recognizing the parental rights of lesbians and gay men. As a
benefit for human welfare, it is important to point out that permitting
same-sex couples to marriage may especially benefit people who
also experience discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity,
disability, gender and gender identity, religion and socioeconomic
status, said Cerbone.
According to the United States Accounting Office (2004), over
1,000 federal statutory provisions exist in which marital status
is a factor in determining a person’s eligibility to receive
various benefits, rights and privileges.APA Working Group on Same-Sex
Families and Relationships: Armand Cerbone, Ph.D., Chicago, Illinois;
Beverly Greene, Ph.D., St. John’s University; Kristin Hancock,
Ph.D., Graduate School of Professional Psychology at John F. Kennedy
University; Lawrence A. Kurdek, Ph.D., Wright State University;
Candace A. McCullough, Ph.D., Bethesda, Maryland; Letitia Anne
Peplau, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Full text of the resolutions is available at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/policy/marriage.pdf
(Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Marriage).
Reporters: Armand Cerbone, PhD can be by phone at (773) 755-0833
or by Email
The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC,
is the largest scientific and professional organization representing
psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest
association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes
more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants
and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology
and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial
associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as
a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and
Here is a small representation of the many Local UNITED
VOICES listed as members of the Coalition for a Fair Michigan.
To view the long list of the many united against discrimination
in Michigan click here:
Ann Arbor Committee for Peace
University of Michigan Graduate Employees Organization
Michigan Federation of Teachers and School Related Personnel,
Concerned Clergy of West Michigan
Green Party of Michigan
Included among UNITED VOICES in support
of same-sex marriage nationally are the following categories
and members. To view the long list click
Politicians & Community Leaders
Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders
John Lewis (D-GA), Member of Congress
Coretta Scott King
Reverend Patricia E. Ackerman, Episcopal Church of NYC
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah,
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Nat'l Community Relations Cmte of the American Friends Service
Rights Groups & Other Organizations
American Psychoanalytic Association
Bar Association of the City of New York
Southern Center for Law & Justice United States
Ingrid Casares, entrepreneur
Christopher Lee, President, Columbia Pictures
Dave Pallone, umpire, Major League Baseball
Melanie Griffith & Antonio Banderas
View the complete list