Gary Glenn's robocall attacks lesbian candidate for state house

Rebuttal video sets the record straight

By Jan Stevenson

MIDLAND - Over the weekend, Gary Glenn, the chairman of the Campaign for Michigan Families and long-time anti-LGBT activist, released a robocall attacking Toni Sessoms because she is a lesbian. She is the Democratic candidate in the race for the Michigan State House 99th District in the Midland area. But if a voter didn't know she was an openly lesbian woman, they certainly got the point after getting Glenn's call, which used the word "homosexual" ten times in just under 2 minutes.

Sessoms quickly responded with a video in which she confirms that she is a lesbian, but then pokes fun at the remaining absurdities in Glenn's robocall. One of her funniest moments is in response to Glenn's assertion that, "Sessom's campaign manager is the openly homosexual Central Michigan University faculty member who lost the statehouse race two years ago." Sessoms brought her campaign manager, Mary Barker, into the video and asked if she was gay, and she silently shook her head no. Then Sessoms asked Barker's husband if Mary is gay, and he too silently shook his head no. Barker also has never worked at CMU, nor has she run for state office.

At the end of the video, Sessoms looked directly into the camera and said, "The agenda of my opponent's strong supporter is to divide us as a people. The easiest way to divide people is through hatred and fear. My campaign is about bringing people together. Only when we work together can we actually reach our goal."

Sessoms is an accomplished attorney and a registered nurse. She was featured in the 2010 BTL Voters Guide as one of three openly LGBT state house candidates.

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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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