MIRS — Grants to gay organization raise eyebrows

Michigan Information & Research Service
Lansing, Michigan
February 10, 2006

Grants to gay organization raise eyebrows

Money that was given to the Triangle Foundation specifically to help victims of hate crimes has raised the eyebrows of a family advocacy group, which has brought it to the attention of the Legislature’s appropriations committees.

The Triangle Foundation describes itself as a “statewide civil rights, advocacy and anti-violence organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, the organization was given a $40,000 grant to aid the foundation’s hate crime victim services. The grant the foundation received is a piece of the $11.5 million that is awarded to groups that address hate crime services.

The American Family Association (AFA) asked the Legislature to look at the grant to determine if the foundation falls under grant criteria.

“On behalf of millions of Michigan families who do not support homosexual ‘marriage’ or the rest of the Triangle Foundation’s radical political agenda, who are offended by the bizarre behavior this organization defends and its staff personally practices, we urge you to investigate this unethical misappropriation of government funds and demand that the Triangle Foundation immediately refund in full any or all of the $40,000 in government funds it has received,” said AFA President Gary GLENN.

Glenn claims the foundation is using the funds to promote gay activities and agendas that the majority of Michigan families don’t support.

T.J. BUCHOLZ with the Department of Community Health (DHS) said the foundation said it would use the grant to follow up with victims, help with crisis referral, help victims file claims and aid in personal advocacy, all of which fits under grant criteria.

“In our estimation this group met the specific criteria necessary for funding and was awarded the money as a result of their application,” Bucholz said.

Either way, the Senate, specifically the Community Health Appropriations Subcommittee, which is chaired by Sen. Tony STAMAS (R-Midland), will look into the grant when it looks at the overall budget, said Ari ADLER, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Ken SIKKEMA (R-Wyoming).

“The majority of these grants were for domestic violence shelters,” Adler said. “The Triangle Foundation is different from all the others and Sen. Stamas just wants to look and see if the grant money was used for victim’s rights or some kind of political advocacy.”

A hearing date hasn’t been set.

“We’re not passing any judgment, yet,” Adler said.

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