Netroots Nation in Detroit

Immigration: Out Of The Shadows

Choice: Closely Aligned

Environment: Only Way To Win Is By Working Together

Housing: 'We Are All In This Together'

Labor: A Decades Long Partnership

DETROIT - Thousands of progressive activists will descend on Detroit's Cobo Center this weekend for the annual Netroots Nation conference. The event features educational workshops on everything from activism to progressive political issues.

"What makes Netroots Nation unique is that it brings together people from all across the progressive spectrum," says Brad Delaney, communications director for LGBT Netroot Connection. LGBT Netroot Connect is a one day pre-conference of LGBT and ally activists."With so many issues to tackle, it is rare to see leaders from so many movements cooperating to create social change. Environment, labor, LGBT, reproductive rights, and economic justice are just some of the many issues that can be found at the conference."

The gathering is about more than activism however, it's about creating spaces where various parts of the progressive community can find common ground and develop partnerships.

"Bringing people together face-to-face creates connections that can simply not be made via instant message and email," says Michael Rogers, director of Netroots Connect. "By meeting in person, we are able to build new partnerships that will ultimately lead to cross issue organizing and strengthening movements."

LGBT issues will feature heavily in this year's rotation with caucus conversations about marriage, work place equality and more.

But LGBT equality struggles are not independent of the progressive movement. Between The Lines reached out to leaders from economic justice, immigration, choice, labor and the environment to discuss how LGBT equality and those movements intersect and share common goals, ideas and tactics.

The following interviews were conducted via email, and are presented with minor grammar editing, as they were presented by the leaders themselves.

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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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