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With 100+ staff lawyers, Michigan AG Schuette still spending $50K to hire another one for same-sex marriage ban SCOTUS case

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is our state’s top lawyer. He bragged about his legal acumen during his 2014 campaign. He also has over 100 Assistant Attorneys General on his staff. So, as Schuette prepares to defend our state’s ban on same-sex marriages before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), you would assume that he would be well-positioned in terms of lawyers to take on that task.

You would be wrong about that, apparently. This past week we learned that Schuette is hiring on yet another attorney, John Bursch of Schuette’s former employer Warner Norcross & Judd, to argue the case before the SCOTUS.…

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Michigan couple seeks to prove that pizza lovers support marriage equality – not bigotry – with GoFundMe campaign

When the owner of Memories Pizza in Indiana recently told reporters that she would refuse to bake pies for wedding receptions if the couple were gay or lesbian, the story went viral. Lawrence Billy Jones III set up a GoFundMe page to “relieve the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith” and he encouraged supporters of the homophobic pizza makers to “go ‘like’ and combat the leftist hatred expressed on Dana’s [Facebook] page.”

The response was overwhelming raising, as of today, $842,442. Memories Pizza has closed up shop and the proprietors have been suitably rewarded for their bigotry.

In response to this, Lori Pimlott-Calvin and her wife Jill Calvin of Royal Oak (pictured here with Lori on the right, Jill on the left) created their own GoFundMe page called “Pizza lovers for marriage equality!”

Although their fundraiser is just getting started, they have already raised almost $1,400.…

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In the pursuit of LGBT equality, we’ve got to keep the faith

This isn’t about religion. It’s about faith in humankind.

I’m not a religious person. I’m spiritual — Buddhist-inspired — but not religious.

But I have faith. I have faith that people are better than what we are seeing in those who would use religion as a license to discriminate.

Laws like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) passed in Indiana don’t just discriminate against the LGBT community. They have the potential to hurt everyone. But because the LGBT community often doesn’t have equal protection under the law, it’s much easier to use RFRA to discriminate against them.

Discrimination is wrong. The LGBT community knows it.…

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Michigan AG Bill Schuette: We must continue to ban marriage equality to protect the dignity of same-sex couples

Michigan’s Bigot-in-Chief, Attorney General Bill Schuette, has put forth some pretty remarkable excuses for his crusade to ensure that same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children together. For example, he suggested that marriage in our state is for regulating sexual relationships to make babies, news that came as a HUGE surprise to Michigan couples who cannot or choose not to have children but marry anyway.

Schuette has also argued that Michigan voters decided this over a decade ago so that’s that and we don’t need to consider whether or not opinions have changed or even if the ban actually violates the U.S.…

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My Planet Fitness post provokes a “rebuttal” from extremist right-wing “Christian” hypocrites

My post yesterday, “Anti-trans* woman uses Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to sue Planet Fitness for terminating her membership” (which I cross-posted at Daily Kos) provoked a response from the so-called “Christians” at RenewAmerica.com today.

The piece is written by Ellis Washington, a founding board member of Salt and Light Global, and is titled “Salt and Light Global targeted for defending woman expelled from Planet Fitness“. In it, he accuses me and Daily Kos of being “anti-Christian”.

Do Christians have religious rights?

Last Tuesday a DailyKos blogger whose penname is “Eclectablog” wrote an incendiary rant titled, Anti-trans* woman uses Michigan civil rights act to sue Planet Fitness for cancelling her membership.

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Anti-trans* woman uses Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to sue Planet Fitness for terminating her membership

Earlier this month I wrote about a woman in Midland who had her Planet Fitness membership cancelled because she spent her days in their gym warning anyone who would listen that Planet Fitness had a “No Judgment Zone” policy that permitted a transgender woman to enter the women’s locker room. Keep in mind that their locker rooms have private changing stalls and their toilet stalls have doors on them. But the presence of a “man” in the locker room was simply too much for Yvette Cormier who then returned every day the following week to “warn” women about Planet Fitness’s horrible policy of tolerance, inclusion, and acceptance.…

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INTERVIEW (with photos) with one of Michigan’s rare married same-sex couples on their one-year anniversary

One year ago today, Anne and I spent an extraordinary day at the County Clerk’s offices in Washtenaw and Oakland counties, watching as some of the 300+ same-sex couples were legally married for the first time in our state’s history. You can revisit that day with us in the post (HERE) that we put up featuring many of Anne’s outstanding photographs.

We even got to see Judith Levy, the first openly-gay federal judge in the 6th Circuit Court perform the first ceremony of the day in Washtenaw County:

1st same-sex marriage in Washtenaw Cty being officiated by the 1st openly gay 6th Circuit federal judge Judith Levy pic.twitter.com/7UNJHUFcsE

— Chris Savage (@Eclectablog) March 22, 2014

As a follow-up to that day, Anne did an interview with Connie Greer and Diane VanDorn, two women from our hometown of Dexter who Anne had shadowed the day they were married to document their experience.…

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This was not a great week for the state of Michigan, Governor Snyder

When your fellow Republicans vote to enshrine discrimination into law, it’s not a week to brag about the state.

So there I was, minding my own business late Friday afternoon, when an email from Governor Rick Snyder’s office showed up in my inbox. It wouldn’t be remarkable except for the subject line:

“A great week for the state of Michigan”

I know for certain I’m not the only Michigander whose stomach turned when I read that. Because the first thing I thought was, “It’s not a great week in this state when the House votes to allow discrimination.”

Like so many other Michiganders who care about equality and social justice, I thought this was a tough week.…

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Will Republicans defend the right to deny services to interracial couples?

The opponents of interracial marriage must be kicking themselves. If they’d been as ruthlessly creative as today’s anti-gay movement, they could have denied “mixed” couples services and legitimacy for decades.

Acceptance of same-sex marriage has reached new highs in recent polls, with 59 percent in favor of marriage equality in a recent poll. But the idea that people should be able to discriminate against people for deeply held religious views is just as popular with 57 percent agreeing that people “should be allowed to refuse service if they have an objection rooted in their religion.”

Religious discrimination based on “deeply held beliefs” is now so mainstream that Jeb Bush — who is portraying himself as gay friendly even after hiring an aide who works to criminalize homosexuality around the globe — said “people have a right” to deny gay people services.…

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Michigan House votes in favor of religious discrimination by adoption agencies

Bills pass 65-44 with immediate effect, proving that the legislation’s supporters can’t wait to hate.

Despite the passionate, well-reasoned arguments of opponents, a package of discriminatory adoption bills passed the Michigan House on Wednesday and were given immediate effect. House Bills 4188-4190 allow faith-based adoption agencies to place their religious views above the best interests of children in need — even when the agencies are funded by the state.

A number of Democratic representatives spoke out against the legislation, pointing out that the bills would allow for discrimination not only against the LGBT community, but also against people of faiths other than those of the adoption agencies.…

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