PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW IN LANSING
Urge Lansing City Council to reject
discriminatory “gay rights,”
Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,
Please stand with us by contacting the Lansing City Council today to urge that council members defeat a discriminatory and dangerous ordinance granting special “rights” to individuals who engage in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing. The ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing this coming Monday, Nov. 20th.
1. Please click on the email addresses below to send a message to all members of the Lansing City Council, urging them to vote against the ordinance.
SALLEN5511@aol.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, TKaltenb@ci.lansing.mi.us, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
2. Please call and/or fax the Lansing City Council to urge that the ordinance be defeated.
- Phone: 517-483-4177
- Fax: 517-483-7630
3. Please attend this Monday’s public hearing and testify against the proposed “rights” ordinance. You must fill out a speaker’s form at the meeting in order to testify:
Monday, Nov. 20
City Council Chambers
10th Floor, City Hall
124 W. Michigan Ave.
1. Individuals who engage in homosexual behavior and cross-dressing already have all the same rights provided to all Americans by the Constitution and federal, state, and local law.
What homosexual activists demand under Lansing’s proposed “gay rights” ordinance are new and additional special “rights” based on special “protected class” status created by city law. Federal and state civil rights laws already protect all citizens against discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, and religion, none of which evoke moral concern.
But federal and state civil rights laws do not define homosexual behavior or cross-dressing as the moral, social, or legal equivalents of race, creed, color, or sex as a basis for civil rights.
Thus, the proposed city ordinance’s references to race, creed, color, and sex have no legal effect, since federal and state civil rights law already address them. The only legal effect of the proposed Lansing city ordinance is the creation of new and special “protected class” status based on homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.
2. This proposed ordinance threatens to violate religious freedom and discriminate against individuals and organizations who, as a matter of sincerely held values or religious conviction, refuse to approve of homosexual behavior or promote homosexual activists’ political agenda. The ordinance provides for criminal prosecution.
Under “sexual orientation” laws identical in effect to the proposed Lansing ordinance:
* Catholic Charities in Boston was forced to either process homosexual adoptions in violation of Vatican policy, or abandon its century-old adoption services altogether (they chose the latter).
* The local Boy Scout council in Philadelphia will be forced to start paying rent for its offices in a city-owned building which houses non-profit and charitable organizations. Before being singled out because their moral code does not allow men who engage in homosexual behavior to serve as Scoutmasters, the Scouts had operated out of the building rent-free for 78 years.
* The Sea Scouts were banned from using city-funded docks in Berkeley, California.
* City employees in Ann Arbor were prohibited from donating to the United Way through the city payroll deduction plan, because the United Way funded local Boy Scout troops.
* The president of the Ann Arbor police officers union was fired for simply asking a question at a candidate forum. http://web.archive.org/web/20010722120103/http://www.pridesource.com/
* Because it does not allow homosexual pastors, the Salvation Army in Chicago is prohibited from bidding on contracts to provide services to the poor.
In each case, the discrimination was specifically based on the so-called “sexual orientation” ordinance or law in effect in that jurisdiction.
3. Small business owners in Lansing face harassment and prosecution for decisions of conscience, plus the threat of additional financial burden.
A Christian video production company in Arlington, Virginia, was threatened with legal action when the owner — citing his religious values — refused to duplicate copies of a video promoting homosexual activists’ political agenda.
Further, small business owners in Lansing may face prosecution for “discrimination” if they provide health insurance and other employment benefits to the dependents of employees who are married but not to the homosexual “partners” of employees involved in homosexual relationships.
Even the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force cut its own employee same-sex benefits insurance plan, saying the premium costs were “prohibitively expensive.”
4. By prohibiting alleged “discrimination” on the basis of so-called “gender identity or expression,” a small business owner or church or public school officials could be prosecuted if they refuse to hire a man who demands the “right” to wear a dress on the job.
This new city law could also force women and girls to share public restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities with mentally or emotionally disturbed men who have been surgically altered to be recognized by the state as “female.”
This effects of this provision are so radical that even Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the leading homosexual activist in Congress, refuses to include the “gender identity and expression” language in his federal “gay rights” legislation.
Barney Frank explains why:
“There are workplace situations-communal showers, for example-when the demands of the transgender community fly in the face of conventional norms and therefore would not pass in any Congress. I’ve talked with transgender activists and what they want — and what we will be forced to defend — is for people with (male sex organs) who identify as women to be able to shower with other women.” http://www.genderadvocates.org/Miranda%20Writes/M0205StrangeBedfellows.html
If you think this is unlikely to happen in Lansing…
It already has!
Thankfully, however, “Naomi Snyder” did not have a legal basis on which to sue in 2002 when a Lansing health club refused his demand to use the women’s locker room and shower.
However, if this ordinance passes, “discrimination” against men who’ve had their sex organs surgically removed will now be a violation of city law, and the Michigan ACLU stands ready to file a lawsuit for men such as “Naomi Snyder,” who insists he has a “right” to use the women’s shower. (For the full story including photo, click here.)
Are you comfortable with your mother, wife, daughter, or granddaughter being forced to share public restroom, locker room, and shower facilities with men who are so mentally or emotionally disturbed that they’ve had themselves surgically altered to be officially recognized by the state as a “female”?
Even more disturbing: Late last March, under pressure from the Michigan ACLU, an official of the Michigan Secretary of State’s office announced a policy change, effective April 1st, to allow a man who had not been surgically altered to change the sex designation on his drivers’ license to “female” if he provided a note from a therapist indicating that he was being treated for so-called “gender dysphoria.”
When brought directly to Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land’s attention by AFA-Michigan, this short-lived policy was reversed on April 8, 2006. However, should some future Secretary of State reinstitute such a policy, as homosexual activists demand, the proposed Lansing ordinance would make it a violation of city law not to allow surgically-unaltered men to use the women’s restrooms and showers.
If you agree that this theater of the absurd should not carry the force of law and threat of criminal prosecution, please join AFA-Michigan in urging the Lansing City Council to reject this outrageous and discriminatory “gay rights” and cross-dressing ordinance.
For the full text of proposed “gay rights” ordinance Click here to download.
Thanks as always for your support!
LIBERAL, LOUD, AND PROUD
October 26, 2006
“Kudos to Kathie Dunbar! On Monday, Oct 30th, the freshman City Council member is proposing a “human rights” ordinance, protecting Lansing residence from discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity expression.”
BETWEEN THE LINES
November 2, 2006
Lansing introduces comprehensive
human rights ordinance
by Todd Heywood
LANSING — The Lansing City Council took the first step towards the passage of a comprehensive human rights ordinance with the introduction of a draft ordinance. The City passed a similar law in 1996, only to see it voted down by residents.
The draft was unanimously accepted by the council and a public hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 20 at the Lansing City Council chambers at Lansing City Hall. The new ordinance could be passed as soon as December, and take effect in the beginning of the new year.
“I am unbelievably proud to introduce a human rights ordinance with all of my colleagues,” said freshman council member at large Kathie Dunbar as she introduced the draft ordinance.
“The issues that make this necessary have not gone away. There’s still discrimination happening in areas of our city, even if we don’t want to admit it.”
All eight members of the council were sponsors of the legislation, including Lansing City Council person Sandy Allen, who in 1996 opposed the ordinance.
Allen said at the time she was newly elected and just getting to know the people she represented on Lansing’s south side. She felt they were opposed to it. “Personally, I was in favor, but I am not here to speak for me. I felt the South Side was not ready for that.”
Now she says her ward is supportive, and felt it important to support the ordinance. She thinks it will pass, too, with little controversy. “More and more people are finding that in their family there is a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, and they are seeing it up close and getting a greater perspective, and they are becoming more accepting.”
Unlike 10 years ago, when the council was acrimonious from the start on the ordinance and residents were out in force to talk about it, the introduction of the new ordinance received barely a notice by the nearly 50 residents in attendance; only five mentioned the ordinance, while 40 others railed about other city matters.
As openly gay city clerk Chris Swope read the ordinance title into the record to formally accept it as introduced, Dunbar took deep breaths, smiled, and even wiped away a few tears. When the vote was complete, four people — the only audience left in the chamber — burst into applause.
Dunbar said the local media has not focused on the gay issues presented in the ordinance, rather looking at how the ordinance is broader than the State’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights law. Namely, media is focusing on the inclusion of Military discharge status and housing status.
Dunbar said in an interview after the council meeting that she would likely move to strike the military discharge provisions from the ordinance, since when she wrote the ordinance she was under the impression most gays are discharged dishonorably from the military for being gay.
The housing status is designed to address the issues faced by homeless populations, which Dunbar said is a large segment of Lansing’s population. “The number one problem in assisting some one in becoming self-sufficient and thus no longer homeless is they need a job. You can’t get a job without a permanent address. It’s a catch-22.”
Anti-gay organizer Bernie Miesner, who spearheaded the 1996 election to repeal the ordinance, has told local newspapers he would organize again if the new ordinance passed. Miesner is no longer a resident of Lansing.
Dunbar is not phased or bothered by the threats from Miesner. “I don’t think he’ll get the signatures (to get it on the ballot) and if he does, he’ll fail,” she said. Dunbar’s confidence comes from the knowledge that Ingham county was one of only two counties in the state to reject Proposal 2 last year.
So why is the self-described soccer mom of four spear heading the ordinance drive now, less than a year into office? “I teach my kids by what I do. I want them to grow up in a world where tolerance is the norm. Unfortunately, that’s something we have to legislate.”
Lansing health club bars transgender member
by Kelly Peters
LANSING — For Naomi Snyder, a simple membership to her local Fitness USA Healthclub, turned into an issue with gender.
On Oct. 27, 2001, Snyder applied and was given a membership at a Fitness USA in Lansing. Snyder provided the required documentation, which shows she is female, to receive a membership. Although Snyder was born a male, she is in the transition process of becoming a female. She said she hopes to have the surgical procedure done by the end of April.
Snyder said she wasn’t informed by the manager at the Lansing center that there are designated days that the one facility locker room is either male or female. After discovering the policy, she wanted to file a complaint and was given the number to the center’s headquarters in West Bloomfield.
According to Snyder, the corporate office told her she could attend on certain days, but asked her not to use the locker room, showers, pool or sauna.
“In one conversation with Jodi Berry,” said Snyder, “I was able to use the center on male designated days, and then I couldn’t use the facilities at all.”
Snyder said Berry, the administration director of Fitness USA, told her that because she had not gone through the complete procedure, she was “in-between genders” and therefore, couldn’t use the facilities. Snyder’s membership was refunded and cancelled on Oct. 31.
Jay Kaplan, staff attorney at ACLU Michigan’s GLBT Legal Project, took up the case, drafted a letter to Berry and sent it on Jan. 15. Berry was asked to respond as of Jan. 25.
Berry responded, on Feb. 4, with a short letter stating that there were no separate bathroom facilities in the centers to accommodate Snyder’s situation.
“Certainly, there are a number of co-ed facilities in the Lansing area that can easily accommodate your client,” said Berry in her letter.
“We can claim sex discrimination regarding public accommodations under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act,” said Kaplan.
Kaplan said under the civil rights act, Snyder was treated differently because she did not show conformance to a specific sex, male or female identity.
Under Michigan law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act does not include the categories of gender identity or sexual orientation, nor do federal civil rights law. Michigan law covers sex discrimination in public accommodations but does not define the term “sex,” said Kaplan.
“This is the type of thing the transgender community faces,” he said.
Kaplan said there aren’t very many cases pertaining to this subject in Michigan. Yet, he outlined a number dealing with the different aspects of sexual discrimination in a seven-page letter to Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan and Michael Steinberg, legal director.
He cited one case in Massachusetts in 2000 that took advantage of sex discrimination, called Rosa v. Park West Bank and Trust Co.
A bank customer, born male, but dressed as a female, requested a loan application. The customer was refused the application unless he returned dressed in proper attire. The man brought a federal suit against the bank under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
The Court of Appeals looked to Title VII case law and concluded that by requiring him to conform to sex stereotypes before proceeding with the credit transaction, the bank unlawfully discriminated against him with respect to an aspect of a credit transaction on the basis of sex.
Kaplan said they would have to use the state law regarding public accommodation discrimination to argue Snyder’s case.
“As she did not conform to stereotypical notions regarding being a male (physical appearance, clothing) or a female (having the anatomical characteristics of a female) she is being denied public accommodations based on her sex, which Fitness USA has classified as ‘in-between genders,'” said Kaplan.