|“The action drew the praise of the anti-gay American Family Association of Michigan. Gary Glenn, president of the group, had this to say in a press release: ‘Mayor Dykstra and the city council were right to have the courage to reject demands by homosexual activists and their allies for this discriminatory ordinance,’ Glenn said.”
Holland, Mich. city council rejects legislation prohibiting
by Todd A. Heywood
HOLLAND, Mich. — The Holland City Council has rejected legislation which would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
WWMT reports the meeting went until nearly midnight, and resulted in a 5 to 4 vote. Nearly 200 people packed the cityâ€™s council chambers to express their opinions on the legislation.
Holland has come under continuing pressure on this issue over the last couple of years. Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black was in the area shooting a film, and was invited to the campus of Hope College, a private higher education institution.
However, the invitation was rescinded when Black was told he could not talk about gay rights. This move led Black and others to create an outside event to discuss LGBT issues in the conservative town. It also led to the formation of a group of Hope graduates who lobbied the college to change its policies on homosexuality, which the college has declined to do.
Black won the Oscar for his screenplay Milk, which told the story of gay icon Harvey Milk. Milk, along with San Francisco Mayor George Mascone, were murdered by former supervisor Dan White. Milk was widely recognized as the first openly gay person to hold a political position in a large city in the United States.
The action drew the praise of the anti-gay American Family Association of Michigan. Gary Glenn, president of the group, had this to say in a press release:
â€œMayor Dykstra and the city council were right to have the courage to reject demands by homosexual activists and their allies for this discriminatory ordinance,â€ Glenn said. â€œIn other cities and states, these so-called â€˜sexual orientationâ€™ laws have proven to themselves be discriminatory, being used to discriminate against and punish individual Christians, strip churches of their tax-exempt status, punish Christian business owners, and discriminate against and violate the civil rights and religious freedom of cherished community groups such as the Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities who refuse to endanger children by endorsing homosexual activistsâ€™ political agenda.â€