Decision on Traverse City ballot language could come soon

RECORD-EAGLE–“The Michigan Secretary of State’s office agrees with a downstate activist’s contention that Traverse City should change ballot language for an upcoming election. …Gary Glenn, president of Midland-based American Family Association of Michigan, said the city improperly worded ballot language for a Nov. 8 referendum election on an ordinance that protects gays from discrimination.”

Read more-

Ballot language on discrimination ordinance questioned

RECORD-EAGLE–“Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, contacted the Secretary of State to voice his concerns. …’State law says that a ballot question must be worded in such a way that those who are in favor of a proposal vote yes, and those who are opposed vote no,’ Glenn said. ‘The Traverse City city commission has worded the ballot question exactly the opposite of what state law requires.’

Read more-

Associated Press — Census records 42 percent increase in number of Michigan households led by same-sex partners

“Still, the numbers suggest that less than 1 percent of Michigan’s 3.8 million households are run by same-sex couples… Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said the real message from the census results is that gays make up such a small portion of the population that the increase of same-sex households is irrelevant. ‘It just makes the point all the more that public policy in this state should not be driven or dictated by such a tiny fringe minority of society,’ said Glenn.”

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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Traverse City, Michigan
August 18, 2011

Census records 42 percent increase in number of
Michigan households led by same-sex partners

by John Flesher, Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Five years after tying the knot with her female partner, Denise Brogan-Kator took great pleasure in describing herself as married when filling out a 2010 U.S. census questionnaire.

“It felt empowering … very authentic,” said Brogan-Kator, executive director of Equality Michigan, a gay rights advocacy group. “It felt like an acknowledgement of our existence.”

Michigan has 21,782 households led by same-sex couples, according to census data released Thursday. That’s a 42 percent increase over the 15,368 reported in the 2000 census, which experts say reflects a nationwide trend and growing acceptance of homosexuality and nontraditional family structures.

Still, the numbers suggest that less than 1 percent of Michigan’s 3.8 million households are run by same-sex couples, which advocates and experts say reflects continuing reluctance on the part of many gay and transgender people to go public.

According to the census, in 2010 there were 12,483 Michigan households led by female couples, a 55 percent increase over 8,075 a decade earlier. The number led by male couples rose 28 percent, from 7,293 to 9,299.

Although the census refers to such households as being led by “unmarried partners,” it does not explicitly describe them as gay, lesbian or transgender. Nor does it enable single people to describe their sexual orientation. That means the census does not measure the number of homosexual people in Michigan or nationally.

Later this year, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to release data showing how many same-sex couples described themselves as married. Although Michigan doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, some of the state’s same-sex couples may have gotten married in states that do. Brogan-Kator and her spouse, Mary Kator, were married in Canada and now live in Milford.

The bureau said the 2000 and 2010 numbers weren’t entirely comparable because of technical differences in how they were processed. Still, demographers said there was clearly a significant increase in the number of same-sex couples reporting themselves as such.

“It definitely points out that things are changing a great deal,” said Kurt Metzger, director of Data Driven Detroit, a demographic research agency. “Obviously people are feeling much more comfortable to come out and couple up and identify themselves that way on the questionnaires.”
Brogan-Kator said outreach efforts by the government and gay rights groups were partly responsible for the higher numbers of same-sex couples counted in the 2010 census. But she also credited an increasingly tolerant society.

“The climate has changed in Michigan and around the country,” she said. “Ten years ago, gay and transgender people were still very much worried about physical safety, and being out was a big risk. We existed in roughly the same proportions that we exist today, but we were very careful about who we would say we existed to.”

Like the rest of the U.S., Michigan remains divided over gay rights issues. Fifteen communities around the state have adopted anti-discrimination ordinances, but gay marriage is banned under a constitutional amendment adopted in 2004.

Wayne County had the highest number of same-sex households with 3,841, up 18 percent from 3,255 a decade earlier. Oakland County’s total rose 50 percent, from 2,039 to 3,058, while Macomb County had a 62 percent jump, from 1,014 to 1,644.

Kent County went from 976 households to 1,484, up 52 percent. Saginaw County’s number was up by one-third, from 282 to 373. Grand Traverse County had a 70 percent increase, from 131 to 223. In the Upper Peninsula, Marquette County had 132 same-sex households last year, a 35 percent increase from 98 in 2000.

Metzger said the data, while almost certainly under-reporting the number of households led by same-sex partners, should convince government officials to pursue more gay-friendly policies — to promote economic growth as well as social justice.

“If we want to be seen as a cool state that attracts young, creative, educated people, we can’t just look at immigrants,” he said. “We have to be seen as attractive to the gay population.”

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said the real message from the census results is that gays make up such a small portion of the population that the increase of same-sex households is irrelevant.

“It just makes the point all the more that public policy in this state should not be driven or dictated by such a tiny fringe minority of society,” said Glenn, who is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate next year.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/2dc2735f25ed4f568bc61ecb7992d1e9/MI–Census-Michigan-Same-Sex-Households/
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Great information from AFA-Indiana

To AFA-Michigan supporters…

This letter from American Family Association of Indiana is so good on several points that I want to share it with you. Thanks as always for your support!
Glenn's signature

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Dozens of Congressmen
Are Standing with Indiana

This week, 41 members of Congress signed on to a federal appeals court brief that defends Indiana state law preventing Hoosier tax dollars from going to subsidize the abortion industry.

The friend of the court brief from the American Center for Law and Justice follows an earlier brief from the Thomas Moore Law Center in which 60 state legislators signed on to defend the new law. The legal briefs are part of the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, which put the new law on hold and restored tax funding to Planned Parenthood.

The ACLJ brief argues for Indiana’s right to set parameters for Medicaid recipients. They note, “Federal Medicaid statutes and regulations give States broad discretion to craft the rules applicable to their Medicaid programs. Congress left intact the States’ authority to determine what makes an entity qualified to provide Medicaid services, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(p)(1), while ensuring that Medicaid recipients may utilize any practitioner deemed to be qualified under State law, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(23). Since HEA 1210 does not limit a beneficiary’s ability to choose among providers that are deemed to be qualified, it is consistent with federal Medicaid law.”

This state’s rights argument has been mentioned in many news reports. Perhaps more interesting is another argument in the ACLJ brief that urges the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court decision. It attacks Planned Parenthood and the ACLU’s “novel claim that abortion providers have a constitutional right to perform abortions and receive public funds; if accepted, this argument would unduly restrict the policy discretion that Congress and state and local governments have to decide how to spend public funds.” Calling the abortion industry’s audacious claim to a constitutional right to our tax dollars “novel” is kind to say the least.

The ACLJ brief is signed by the following members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
Michele Bachmann, Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton, Francisco “Quico” Canseco, Michael Conaway, John Fleming, Bill Flores, Randy Forbes, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Vicky Hartzler, Jeb Hensarling, Tim Huelskamp, Randy Hultgren, Lynn Jenkins, Bill Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mike Kelly, Steve King, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Jeff Landry, James Lankford, Robert Latta, Kenny Marchant, Thaddeus McCotter, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jeff Miller, Alan Nunnelee, Ron Paul, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Mike Pompeo, Todd Rokita, Chris Smith, Lamar Smith, Marlin Stutzman, Glenn Thompson, and Todd Young.

The Term “Pro-Choice” May
Not Mean What We Assume

Speaking of abortion, a new poll from Gallup has some very interesting findings. The proponents of abortion often claim that most Americans are “pro-choice” when it comes to abortion. There are recent surveys challenging this assertion in terms of the self-identification between being pro-life or pro-choice. Even if most Americans are “pro-choice,” it probably doesn’t mean what you think or what abortion advocates imply.

The Gallup survey of “pro-choice” Americans actually finds that most of these people agree with pro-life Americans on nine significant areas. For example, 86% of “pro-choice” individuals favor informed consent legislation which gives women information about abortion and alternatives beforehand. Two-thirds (63%) of “pro-choice” Americans favor banning the grisly partial birth abortion procedure. Sixty-percent support parental consent laws for minors seeking an abortion. Half (52%) of “pro-choice” Americans want abortions to be made illegal after the second trimester and 79% want third trimester abortions outlawed. One major difference is that most (64%) “pro-choice” Americans support abortion as a means of birth control in the first trimester.

As noted in previous surveys, Gallup has also reconfirmed that those who attend regular religious services (“churchgoers”) are twice as likely to be pro-life compared to those who rarely or never attend church services.

The Tail Wagging the Dog

I had a media interview late last week in regard to new US Census Bureau data showing numbers homosexual households in Indiana. When asked if I was surprised at the numbers, I said yes, not at their large size, but at how that minority are given the disproportional political and cultural influence homosexuals wield.

I have similar numbers from the year prior to those the reporter cited, and they are revealing. (Keep in mind that a recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans mistakenly believe that 25% of the US population is homosexual or bi-sexual. In reality that number is less than 3%.)

In Indiana, based upon Census Bureau data released in April 2010, there were only 10,200 same-sex couples living together in Indiana. Contrast this with 1,251,500 married Hoosier couples and same-sex couples account for just three-tenths of one percent of the household population in Indiana. In state after state, this percentage is nearly the same. Nationally the percentage of same-sex couples compared to married households is only 0.4%.

Some would argue that if homosexuals currently living together and therefore most likely to marry are so few, what is the harm of un-defining marriage. (For all of their claims of needing to redefine marriage when given the chance to “marry” in Europe or in states like Massachusetts, relatively few homosexuals actually do so. Most reject marriage, raising questions about their claims of disadvantage, denied rights, property sharing difficulties and marriage inequality.)

The real question is if the numbers are so small, why disrupt society by further devaluing marriage, rewriting school curricula, limiting religious speech, closing faith-based charities and other problems associated with same-sex marriage just to appease a very vocal, yet small 0.3% of cohabiting population? What of other behaviors and lifestyle choices? Must marriage be redefined to accommodate them too?

Given the societal importance of marriage and the traditional family, discarding the logical time-tested boundaries of marriage to appease a vocal, and tiny special interest group when poll after poll shows most Americans want marriage to remain as it always has been truly is a radical notion.

One Reason Why the Tail
Can Wag the Dog So Easily

In light of the data above, a logical question one may ask is why is American culture so pro-gay and morally decadent in virtually every way imaginable? May I suggest that the one-in-four of Americans who identify themselves as evangelical Christians are not following the Biblical directive to be “salt and light.” A staggering majority, betwene 76% and 78%, of Americans still identify themselves a Christians.

Why, given such large demographic numbers, is the culture so hostile to basic traditional values, parents, children, faith, etc? There are several reasons for this problem. One of them was found in a survey of pastors from Your Church Magazine that I mentioned in a recent weekly AFA-IN e-mail. The survey found that more than half of the ministers (55%) surveyed admitted that they would not preach at all or only sparingly on certain subjects. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) listed politics as the top subject they would avoid. One-in-four said that they would not mention homosexuality. When it came to the issue of abortion, 18% said that they would not mention this subject from the pulpit. Nearly one-in-ten said that they would not mention the subject or doctrine of Hell.

It is not as though God does not have things to say about these subjects and the issues of the day as revealed in His Word. The primary reason cited for avoiding certain subjects was that it might negatively impact church attendance. Yet, if the pulpits of our nation are silent on the issues its congregants confront daily in news headlines and the culture, how can we expect folks to live counter-culturally rather than mirroring everything around them?

(By the way, I am very excited about a new book coming out in a few weeks from Hoosier talk show host, Peter Heck, precisely about this issue of being salt and light in the world and taking back the culture. You can learn more about his book here: http://www.peterheck.com/78)

The church serves a role as the conscience of a nation, and unlike most government programs, faith changes lives from the inside out. Still, cultural change does not rest solely at the feet of the church. This is where groups like AFA of Indiana play a vital part. Your financial and prayer support of AFA-IN is always welcome and helpful. If you would like to stand with us, you can make a tax-deductible donation online or mail one to us at: PO Box 40307, Indianapolis, IN 46240.

http://www.afain.net/
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THE VAULT — Steve Deace: Neville Chamberlain is still wrong

“I know just for writing this I will get called every vile and vicious name in the book by those spouting ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity.’ So what? …Let the haters hate. My response is to kick the dust off my sandals, move on to the next town, and keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve read the end of the book several times. We win, and they lose, every time I do. We succumb too often to these (homosexual activist) bullies. …And bullies don’t stop beating you until you stand your ground. …As long as Christians continue to cower in fear of this scant minority of troublemakers, they will continue to feast on our fear. In the process they will maintain control of our schools and cultural institutions as well, and we will watch as the next generation turns its back on Christ and embraces an ideology that says people are good just the way they are and don’t need a Savior instead.

At the rate they’re going, it won’t be much longer that they’ll make it almost impossible for Christians operating within the free market to earn an honest living without succumbing to political correctness… This is our own fault. Any time a righteous majority is being bullied by maybe (generously) 6% of the population, it is indictment on them, not the troublemakers. How is it that Corporate America is more afraid of offending maybe 6% of the population as opposed to the droves that faithfully attend churches on Sunday? This is another costly sign of our own complacency and compromise being used against us. …Neville Chamberlain Christianity is killing this country.”

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THE VAULT
Des Moines, Iowa
August 1, 2011

Neville Chamberlain is still wrong

by Steve Deace

The lack of support from the American Christian community to the homosexual movement targeting the family and business of Marcus and Michele Bachmann would make Neville Chamberlain proud.

Like the disgraced former British Prime Minister, who became a historic symbol of cowardice and complacency in exchange for peace at any cost, too many American Christians refuse to actually see the grim reality of the culture they live in lest that would mean they’d actually have to do something about it.

In case you missed it, Marcus Bachmann (husband of the GOP presidential candidate) dares to actually believe the Bible is true in his vocation, and not the pagan politically correct dogma of the day. Therefore, he helps those desiring to leave behind the depravity, emptiness, and self-destructiveness of homosexuality to embrace their new identity in Christ and find the peace that passes all understanding that comes only from an intimate relationship with Him.

For those of you that went to public school and received your duly-appointed taxpayer-subsidized indoctrination, this may sound like blasphemy until you actually meet one of the several thousand former homosexuals walking the streets in America today. Several of whom I have interviewed over the years. However, I have yet to interview a former African-American or a former Hispanic.

Regardless of whether or not you think Congresswoman Bachmann would make a good president is irrelevant to the point of this piece. There is a higher law at stake here than just the next presidential election, as important as that may be. Once again the double-standard that is corrupting our culture is at play. Once again Christians corporately seem either hesitant or completely unwilling to confront it, and until that changes few things in this country will for the better.

Remember a few years ago when Muslims ironically protested the Pope talking about Islam being a violent religion by lashing out violently? In a similarly self-indicting moment of clarity, the homosexual activists in the below video are likewise ironically protesting Marcus Bachmann referring to them as barbarians by being at least a bit barbaric.

Click for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCUX5rDPlis&feature=player_embedded#at=108

Now, let’s turn the tables on the players involved.

Imagine for a second that you are a Christian that believes the Bible is true. You walk into an establishment that caters to those who indulge in homosexual behavior, and disrupt their business just as the homosexual activists do to Marcus Bachmann’s counseling clinic in the video. Imagine that you walk through the front door with a camera, open up your Bible to the Book of Romans’ first chapter, and read the following excerpt aloud:

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

What do you think the reaction of the media, or the local police for that matter, would be to such behavior? Do you think it would be as giggly and friendly as the coverage has been of the boorish behavior of the homosexual activists at the Bachmann clinic, or the other GOP candidates they have “glitter-bombed?”

For the record, I wouldn’t typically condone a Christian behaving in such a manner, because the Bible teaches Christians to be far more concerned with their own behavior and the behavior of their fellow Christian than it does pagans, but that’s beside the point. The reality is there is a double-standard here, and that homosexual activists who often back phony-baloney anti-bullying bills are often themselves the bullies.

They target businesses. They target free speech. They target religious freedom. They target anyone and anything that doesn’t affirm their sinful and self-destructive dogma. They are the most rigid and aggressive fundamentalists in America. The truth is they and fellow knuckle-dragger Fred Phelps is a match made in Hell and deserves each other.

However, the rest of us who just want to live in peace and walk humbly with our God no longer deserve to be bothered by either of them.

They’re both bullies. Sadly, I’m a bit of an expert on bullies given my background. The one thing I know about bullies is they’re all the same. Once you no longer fear them and their tactics, they have no plan B. This is where my perceived fearlessness comes from. It’s a self-defense mechanism I developed based on the environment I came from. Once I got over being afraid of the bully at home, I ceased being afraid of bullies period.

For example, I know just for writing this I will get called every vile and vicious name in the book by those spouting “tolerance” and “diversity.” So what? Whatever happened to sticks and stones may break my bones, but words (or names) can never hurt me? Let the haters hate. My response is to kick the dust off my sandals, move on to the next town, and keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve read the end of the book several times. We win, and they lose, every time I do.

We succumb too often to these bullies. We let them have our bully pulpit, and they beat us to a bloody pulp with it. And bullies don’t stop beating you until you stand your ground. That’s true of these bullies as well.

As long as Christians continue to cower in fear of this scant minority of troublemakers, they will continue to feast on our fear. In the process they will maintain control of our schools and cultural institutions as well, and we will watch as the next generation turns its back on Christ and embraces an ideology that says people are good just the way they are and don’t need a Savior instead.

At the rate they’re going, it won’t be much longer that they’ll make it almost impossible for Christians operating within the free market to earn an honest living without succumbing to political correctness because of the pressure they’re putting on the system. During one of my many job conversations the past few months, I spoke to a radio management executive who told me it’s getting increasingly harder to sell advertising in national conservative talk radio despite the high ratings, because of how aggressive the homosexual agenda is in targeting increasingly squeamish corporations.

This is our own fault.

Any time a righteous majority is being bullied by maybe (generously) 6% of the population it is indictment on them, not the troublemakers. How is it that Corporate America is more afraid of offending maybe 6% of the population as opposed to the droves that faithfully attend churches on Sunday? This is another costly sign of our own complacency and compromise being used against us.

We refuse to stand up to these bullies with the right balance of grace and truth. I once spoke to a former homosexual activist named Charlene Cothran, and she told me it was a Christian woman boldly demonstrating that balance of grace and truth that God used to deliver her from that lifestyle and transform her life. Had that Christian woman cowered in the face of political correctness, Charlene Cothran might still be living a dangerous and self-destructive lie.

Neville Chamberlain Christianity is killing this country. We’re supposed to be peace-makers, not strive for peace no matter the cost. Not to mention, can there truly be peace without conflict? The peace I have now is a result of the conflict between the life God was calling me to live and the life I was living when He called me.

I believe homosexual activists are so aggressive and/or confrontational because they struggle with the same inner conflict I once did. Part of Marcus Bachmann’s mission appears to be bringing those struggling with that conflict who desire peace in their hearts to the foot of the Cross of the One that offers it. For that mission of mercy he’s being vilified by the very people he’s trying to save.

Perhaps if more Christians followed his example of not running away from the conflict there’d be more peace—both in our culture and in the hearts of those ensnared by the homosexual lifestyle.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Jesus Christ

http://stevedeace.com/news/iowa-politics/neville-chamberlain-is-still-wrong/
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CAMPUS PROGRESS — With national legislation stalled, LGBT rights advance at local level

“In a letter to the Holland City Council, AFA Michigan President Gary Glenn compared homosexuality to a smoking addiction and claimed that passage of the (‘gay rights’) ordinance would itself discriminate against the Boy Scouts, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army.”

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CAMPUS PROGRESS
“Young people working for progressive change”
Washington, D.C.
August 1, 2011

With national legislation stalled,
LGBT rights advance at local level

by Sam Menefee-Libey with Zach Duffy

…Not all campaigns for the ordinances have been successful. On June 15, the City Council of Holland, Mich., rejected a proposed inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the city’s equal employment opportunity policy by a 5-4 vote. Intense lobbying by the American Family Association, a national anti-gay organization, preceded the vote.
In a letter to the Holland City Council, AFA Michigan President Gary Glenn compared homosexuality to a smoking addiction and claimed that passage of the ordinance would itself discriminate against the Boy Scouts, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army. Those organizations currently refuse services to LGBT Americans under religious objections. Glenn cited as an example Philadelphia’s decision to evict a local Boy Scout troop from offices in a city park. But in that case, Philadelphia taxpayers were effectively subsidizing the troop’s rejection of LGBT scouts to the tune of $200,000 a year, as they had previously occupied those offices rent-free.

The AFA has pledged financial support to any candidates who run against the four councilors who cast votes for the Holland ordinance. Two challengers have already filed petitions.

http://campusprogress.org/articles/with_national_legislation_stalled_lgbt_rights_advance_at_local_level/
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HOLLAND SENTINEL — Gary Glenn campaigns for Tonini in Holland's second Ward

“Glenn cited (Holland City Council candidate Jerry) Tonini’s opposition to the inclusion of the terms sexual orientation and gender identity during Monday’s candidate forum as the reason for the campaign support. Glenn…has vehemently opposed any law that protects “homosexual behavior” or could lead to the legalization of gay marriages. Glenn cited Holland’s 64 percent support of the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004 as a reason to vote for Tonini.”

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HOLLAND SENTINEL
Holland, Michigan
August 1, 2011

Gary Glenn campaigns for Tonini
in Holland’s second Ward

by Staff reports / The Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND, Mich. — Gary Glenn, chairman of the Campaign for Michigan Families, sent an automated phone message Thursday to registered voters in the city of Holland’s second Ward.

Glenn urged support for city council candidate Gerardo Tonini, chairman of the Holland Planning Commission. Tonini is running against Second Ward incumbent Jay Peters and former Councilman Victor Orozco.

In the message, Glenn cited Tonini’s opposition to the inclusion of the terms sexual orientation and gender identity during Monday’s candidate forum as the reason for the campaign support.

Glenn, who is considering a run for the U.S. Senate against Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has vehemently opposed any law that protects “homosexual behavior” or could lead to the legalization of gay marriages.

Glenn cited Holland’s 64 percent support of the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004 as a reason to vote for Tonini.

The primary election is Tuesday.

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/newsnow/x643158384/Gary-Glenn-campaigns-for-Tonini-in-Holland-s-second-Ward
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GRAND RAPIDS PRESS — Gay rights debate made focus of Holland election with Gary Glenn's robocalls

“Glenn is president of the American Family Association of Michigan. His involvement in the City Council election comes as the chairman of the political action campaign, Campaign for Michigan Families. …In the robocall, Glenn hails (Holland City Council candidate Jerry) Tonini for opposing ‘a discriminatory ordinance giving special rights to individuals involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.'”

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GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 29, 2011

Gay rights debate made focus of Holland
election with Gary Glenn’s robocalls

by Shandra Martinez | The Grand Rapids Press

HOLLAND, Mich. – Conservative Christian activist Gary Glenn is keeping his promise to campaign for candidates challenging Holland City Council incumbents who voted in favor of extending the city’s anti-discrimination lawto include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Glenn called Holland voters Thursday night in a robocall message supporting Gerardo “Jerry” Tonini who is running for 2nd Ward seat on the City Council against incumbent Jay Peters.

Peters was one of the four members who unsuccessfully voted in favor of the ordinance. The three-way race also includes former Councilman Victor Orozco, who supports gay rights.

Did Glenn’s call help Tonini’s campaign?

“I don’t know,” admits Tonini. “The results will be known on Aug. 2.”

Expanding the ordinance to sexual orientation isn’t needed, said Tonini, who currently serves as chairman of the city’s Planning Commission.

“If we protect a certain group of people, then in essence we create more discrimination,” he said.
Tonini, who works for T2 Communications, says he doesn’t buy the argument by some companies that not expanding the ordinance hurts businesses. Furniture-maker Herman Miller and other businesses say the council’s failure to expand the ordinance will hurt their efforts to recruit top employees, no matter what their sexual orientation.

In a radio interview, Glenn took aim at Herman Miller by suggesting that gay workers don’t number within the ranks of the “best and the brightest” employees.

Glenn is president of the American Family Association of Michigan. His involvement in the City Council election comes as the chairman of the political action campaign, Campaign for Michigan Families.

Glenn recently announced he might mount his own campaign for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s seat, which would first pit him against Holland’s favorite son and former Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra.

In the robocall, Glenn hails Tonini for opposing “a discriminatory ordinance giving special rights to individuals involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.”

Some criticize Glenn for stepping into the local election but Tonini says he appreciates Glenn’s support.
“I think every resource is valuable when we are dealing with an election,” Tonini said.

——-
Full Script of Gary Glenn’s robocall

“Hi, this is Gary Glenn with the Campaign for Michigan Families, urging you to support Jerry Tonini for Holland City Council. Jerry Tonini is the only candidate who opposes the discriminatory ordinance giving special rights to individuals involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.

Jay Peters voted in favor of homosexual activists’ discriminatory ordinance, and Victor Orozco said he also supports the homosexual special rights ordinance.

This discriminatory ordinance supported by Peters and Orozco threatens your family’s religious freedom. In other states, these ‘sexual orientation’ laws have been used in court to legalize homosexual marriage and to discriminate against churches, businesses, and individuals – plus community groups such as the Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities — who refuse to allow homosexual Scoutmasters or clergy or to support the homosexual agenda.

Remember, Jay Peters and Victor Orozco support this discriminatory ordinance that threatens marriage and religious freedom.

Only one candidate opposes homosexual activists’ discriminatory special rights ordinance: Jerry Tonini, chairman of the Holland Planning Commission.

Jerry Tonini is committed to protecting the traditional values and religious freedom shared by families in Holland. Jerry Tonini will vote to protect marriage and religious freedom. Tuesday, please vote for Jerry Tonini for city council, either at City Hall or St Frances on West 13th.

This message was paid for by the Campaign for Michigan Families, including our supporters here in Holland.”

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/07/gary_glenn_steps_into_holland.html
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BETWEEN THE LINES (Editorial) — Stop listening to Gary Glenn

HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVISTS BEMOAN:
“WHEN HE TALKS, PEOPLE LISTEN.”

Detroit homosexual newspaper writes editorial about AFA-
Michigan’s Gary Glenn, urging newspapers to stop taking
him seriously enough to write editorials about him. Huh?

Click http://bit.ly/eLOdSW to make a tax-deductible contributon to AFA-Michigan today.

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“Last week, Gary Glenn…proclaimed that gays aren’t the ‘best or the brightest’ employees. That earned Glenn, the head of Michigan’s chapter of the American Family Association, coverage by news and blogs such as the Daily Kos, the Muskegon Chronicle and mlive.com, Towleroad, and others. This isn’t the first time that Glenn has attracted gads of media attention for his conservative views, and it certainly won’t be his last.

…So why is Glenn, one person who makes sense to so few, easily able to steal the spotlight? Because we listen. Because whenever he says something obnoxious and hateful, we all rush to hear exactly what he said and how he said it. Because news outlets like inflammatory stories, which often deliver lots of online hits. Because for some reason, we worry that the average conservative-leaning politician or citizen secretly thinks or believes the horrific things that Glenn has the temerity to say.

…After all, when he talks, people listen, no matter how absurd or irrelevant he sounds. …Gary Glenn is just Gary Glenn. He’s one man with one voice and one bizarre, unchanging message. …We highly doubt that if we stopped listening, Glenn would stop talking. He’ll never do that. But if we stop reading news stories and blog posts about him, perhaps writers and editors will fail to take him seriously enough to cover him in the future.”

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BETWEEN THE LINES
Detroit, Michigan
July 14, 2011

(Editorial)

Stop listening to Gary Glenn

Last week, Gary Glenn went on Linda Harvey’s radio show and proclaimed that gays aren’t the “best or the brightest” employees. The earned Glenn, the head of Michigan’s chapter of the American Family Association, coverage by news and blogs such as the Daily Kos, the Muskegon Chronicle and mlive.com, Towleroad and others. This isn’t the first time that Glenn has attracted gads of media attention for his conservative views, and it certainly won’t be his last.
To which we ask: Why?

Think about it: Does Glenn represent all conservative views? No. Does he represent all Christian views? No. He represents the far right and extremist views. He is likely speaking for a tiny portion of citizens in our state and across the country. So why is Glenn, one person who makes sense to so few, easily able to steal the spotlight?

Because we listen. Because whenever he says something obnoxious and hateful, we all rush to hear exactly what he said and how he said it. Because news outlets like inflammatory stories, which often deliver lots of online hits. Because for some reason, we worry that the average conservative-leaning politician or citizen secretly thinks or believes the horrific things that Glenn has the temerity to say.

Well, what really is behind the conservative Michigan lawmakers who were happy to introduce lots of anti-gay bills this session? They said it was the economy or the state’s anti-gay marriage amendment. But they didn’t say anything as crazy or extremist as Glenn, because they have some semblance of reputation and professionalism to uphold. Glenn’s job is to be as loud as possible, and he knows that shocking messages are easily amplified.

Glenn has offered to pay for the next campaigns of the Holland City Council members who voted against the anti-discrimination ordinance last month. That ordinance would have protected LGBTs from discrimination in housing and employment. These kinds of protections aren’t offered at the state or federal level. But there’s something very important to note in this story: even though the vote failed, it failed by a surprisingly slim margin. Just one vote different, and the historically conservative city of Holland could have turned progressive.

Glenn clearly must think that he has a lot of clout and power in order to openly back city council candidates. After all, when he talks, people listen, no matter how absurd or irrelevant he sounds. But he’s probably getting louder because he feels threatened. There was a lot of support for the ordinance, and it’s not going away. Groups of concerned citizens are attending every single city council meeting until it votes again on the measure, and in favor. These amazing citizens – many who are Christian and/or straight – are not letting the ordinance stay a failure. They’re organizing through social media, roping in area businesses and are even selling bumper stickers and t-shirts. This is the power of people banding together for positive change.

Gary Glenn is just Gary Glenn. He’s one man with one voice and one bizarre, unchanging message. Between Glenn and the concerned citizens of West Michigan, who do you think we should listen to? The thoughtful people who care for their community, or the screaming lunatic? The person who thinks he has power, or the group of people who actually has power?

We highly doubt that if we stopped listening, Glenn would stop talking. He’ll never do that. But if we stop reading news stories and blog posts about him, perhaps writers and editors will fail to take him seriously enough to cover him in the future. And wouldn’t that be much less of a bother to all of us?

http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=48082
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ACTION ALERT — DETROIT FREE PRESS — Democrat's bill would let counseling students decline clients over beliefs

Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,

Please read the Detroit Free Press article below, then please take advantage of this rare opportunity to encourage a Democratic elected official in Michigan willing to stand up to militant homosexual activists’ political agenda of intolerance and discrimination.

Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, Democratic Floor Leader in the state Senate, is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 518, which would prohibit universities from discriminating against Christian counseling students who refuse to compromise their faith while counseling patients. The legislation comes in response to Eastern Michigan University’s expulsion of Julea Ward, a 4.3 GPA Christian counseling student who refused to counsel a patient on how to improve his homosexual relationship.

Sen. Hunter is getting beat up by homosexual activists and his fellow Democrats for daring defend Julea Ward and other Christian students. Please call or e-mail Sen. Hunter today and thank him for sponsoring SB 518.

E-mail: senthunter@senate.michigan.gov Phone: 517-373-0994

And please contact your state Senator today and urge him to support SB 518. Click here to find your state senator’s contact informatoin: http://www.senate.michigan.gov/FindYourSenator/byaddress.htm

Thanks as always for your support of AFA-Michigan’s stand for Michigan families and traditional family values. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution today — which is especially critical during the summer months when contributions are down — please do so by credit card at http://bit.ly/oggsCk or by mail to AFA-Michigan, PO Box 1904, Midland, MI 48641.

Thanks again, and God bless and strengthen you and your family!
Glenn's signature
Gary Glenn
President
AFA-Michigan

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DETROIT FREE PRESS
Detroit, Michigan
July 13, 2011

Democrat’s bill would let counseling
students decline clients over beliefs

by David Jesse / Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

State Sen. Tupac Hunter

Sen. Tupac Hunter

Ever since Julea Ward sued Eastern Michigan University, saying it kicked her out of the counseling program when she refused to counsel a gay client, Republican politicians have lined up to offer her support.
That includes Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who filed a brief in federal court supporting Ward’s position.

But a new bill designed to give counseling students the freedom to decline to counsel clients based on religious beliefs or moral conviction adds a wrinkle to the debate — it was drafted by Sen. Tupac Hunter, the Senate’s Democratic floor leader.

“I firmly believe that it is wrong for any institution of higher learning in this state to expel a student from a program because of their refusal to compromise their own belief system,” Hunter said in a statement. His office said Tuesday he was unavailable for interviews on the topic.

In her initial lawsuit, filed in 2009, Ward alleged EMU dismissed her from its graduate counseling program after she declined to counsel a gay client and instead referred the client to another counselor.

EMU responded that it dismissed her from the program for failing to fulfill curricular requirements and for not following the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics.

A federal judge ruled in favor of EMU in 2010. Ward has appealed that ruling.

Special interest groups from both sides of the political spectrum weighed in with support briefs.

Republican politicians tried this year to put language into higher education budget bills to have universities report to the Legislature on how they would “protect” counseling students’ “deeply held religious beliefs.”

This bill is different.

It would be called the Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act and would ban universities from dismissing students who declined to counsel clients because of conflicting religious beliefs. If dismissed, a student could ask a court to be reinstated.

“I believe a student should not be forced into a situation in which he/she would have to provide treatment that compromises their religious or moral convictions or requires them to conceal their values conflict in order to avoid expulsion from a degree program,” Hunter said in the statement. “How is this good for the student or the client, especially? There is no dishonor to the profession nor harm done to the client by simply referring him/her to another individual who can best assist the client in meeting his/her established goals for counseling.”

EMU spokesman Geoff Larcom said the university will cooperate with the Legislature’s mandate if the bill makes it into law. However, he reiterated EMU’s position that Ward’s dismissal had nothing to do with her religious beliefs.

http://www.freep.com/article/20110713/NEWS06/107130327/Democrat-s-bill-would-let-counseling-students-decline-clients-over-beliefs?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s
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