Hamtramck expands anti-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBT community

Last Tuesday, Hamtramck became the 17th city in Michigan to expand its human rights ordinance to include the protection of sexual orientation in areas such as housing, employment and city contracts. The ordinance now also includes protections against gender identity or expression.

The Triangle Foundation commended the City Council on its expansion of the ordinance, which was first passed on Jan. 22. "We appreciate the city of Hamtramck for this bold move to outlaw anti-LGBT discrimination in their city," said Triangle Foundation Director of Policy Sean Kosofsky in a statement. "Each time a community takes a stand against discrimination, we get closer to full equality, and Michigan delivers on the promise of equal opportunity."

The ordinance passed 6-1 in a vote that included the City Council and the mayor of Hamtramck. Councilmember Alan Shulgon voted against the ordinance, stating that he belives that how the city is run is a more important focus for the City Council, and that ample protections for sexual orientation and gender identity or expression already exist under current law.

Councilman Scott Klein, an openly gay man, was credited with the creation of the proposed expansion.

"Hamtramck has shown extraordinary leadership with the passage of this ordinance," Klein told the Detroit News. "We have shown that Hamtramck (posseses) the political wisdom and the courage to extend the basic rights of all people."

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Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

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