A record number of candidates spoke to those gathered at the LGBT Caucus at the Michigan Democratic Convention on Aug. 23 in Lansing. Oakland County Clerk and candidate for Lt. Governor Lisa Brown addressed the gathering asking for help in getting out the vote Nov. 4. BTL photo: AJ Traeger
Brown Blasts Snyder On Marriage Ban
By Co-Publishers Jan Stevenson and Susan Horowitz
Originally printed 9/4/2014 (Issue 2236 - Between The Lines News)
Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown, Mark Schauer's running mate for Lieutenant Governor, accused Gov. Snyder of trying to hide behind his attorney general and challenged him to step out in support of fairness and equality. In a July 24 interview, she said that Gov. Snyder could have refused to support the marriage ban even if the attorney general insisted on appealing the case.
Although named as a defendant in DeBoer v. Snyder, Brown refused to defend Oakland County's ban on same-sex marriage, hiring her own legal counsel to argue her support for marriage equality. Brown was in the courtroom for all eight days of the May trial in U.S. District Court and testified against her co-defendants.
BTL: Was there anything about that lawsuit that was surprising for you?
Brown: I think of what year it is and to hear hatred, ignorance come out of people's mouths - and they are unapologetic! They are proud of this, and it's still shocking to me. So yeah, 'Did you really just say that out loud?' and 'Do you really feel that way?' 'Do you really believe that?,' and I know they are swearing to tell the truth and everything so they do but... It was a thrill for me to be a part of that lawsuit. To be an ally and help bring equality, end discrimination. I am forced to discriminate in my office. I hate it. Friends came into my office and said 'Will you marry us?' and I couldn't because they are two women. I've known them both for years.
It starts with the policy. We hear Snyder say that he wants to attract the best and the brightest, but when you end domestic partner benefits, when you continue to defend a discriminatory, unconstitutional marriage ban, you aren't attracting the best and the brightest. And we want the best and the brightest on our team for us and for the people of Michigan. It doesn't matter who you love; are you good at your job?
BTL: You are a defendant in the marriage ban lawsuit and so is the current governor. You were a 'hostile' defendant. Could Snyder have taken the same position?
Brown: I am listed as a defendant; it is DeBoer v. Snyder, Schuette and Brown. I am on there. Snyder could've taken the same approach I did. I inherited the lawsuit, but I changed the course of how the Oakland County Clerk was going to handle the lawsuit and how I viewed it. Snyder could've done the same thing. And there is precedent for a governor, because other governors have said, 'Okay, Windsor came through; I am not going to defend our marriage ban anymore.' We had a case in which then-Gov. Granholm and Attorney General Cox did not agree. And that could've happened in this case. Snyder could've taken a stand as easily as I did, he could've joined me and said, 'Yeah, this is discrimination.' And he didn't this whole time. Even when Judge Friedman made his decision, he could have said 'Yes, okay. Those 300 marriages are legal, but we aren't going to extend benefits to those couples.' He could have taken a stand. He said 'I don't want to talk about divisive issues as the governor,' but what did he just do? You want to attract the best and the brightest, but you're saying that they're second-class citizens. It's bewildering to me, and it's angering to me. For him to hide behind, well, Schuette...no...I didn't stand with Schuette. He could've taken a stand.
There are thousands of dollars that were spent on the trial and on the appeal. We know one of their so-called experts -- who are just haters -- cost $15,000, and the first expert that they called was thrown out. They wasted taxpayers' dollars to fly him in, and then he just sat there in the courtroom.
And then they raised the argument that marriage is about reproduction. I think I would get in trouble if I asked a couple if they were planning on having children, and how many and are you fertile and I mean, like, what is your sperm count?
- Love is Patient, Love is Kind: Local Couple Details Path to Altar
- JCC Book Fair Welcomes Jewish Gay Author
- 3 Michigan Cities Score Perfect 100 Rating in LGBT Inclusion Report
- Conversation On Bullying Empowers Students and Parents
- Freedom House Seeks Help for LGBT Refugees
- John Allen Paves Way for Brighter Future for LGBTQ Youth
- Detroit Police Officer Dani Woods Recipient of Equality Michigan Award
- Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown Celebrates Same-Sex Marriages
- State Board: Lawyer with Anti-Gay Rants Committed Misconduct
- Holly Lanes Hosting LGBT and Friends Night to Connect Around Equality
- Community Demands Justice for LGBTQ Prisoners
- Village of Holly Votes 6-1 Against Human Rights Ordinance
- Attorney Faces LGBTQ Discrimination
- Progressive Groups Join Forces to Win Big in Election 2016
- Federal Law Protects Transgender People at Homeless Shelters
- LGBTQ Youth Need Inclusive Sex Education
- Urge Michigan Attorney General to Withdraw from Federal Lawsuit
- Anti-LGBTQ Smear Campaign Targets Eaton County Commissioner
- Ameritax Plus
- Event Planners
- C & N Party Rentals
- Heating & Cooling
- Hinson Heating & Air Conditioning
- Horton Plumbing & Remodeling
- Political Organizations
- Equality Research Center
- Real Estate Appraiser
- Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser FHA Approved
- Real Estate/Agent
- The LindaLom Team at Trillium Real Estate
- Religious & Spiritual
- Jewish Gay Network
- Cafe Cortina
- Social/Community Organizations
- Ferndale Pride
Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more
- Hillary Clinton's Commitment to LGBT Equality Stronger Than Ever
- 'Campfire' Opens at The Ringwald Theatre
- McCrory, Cooper Blast Each other on LGBT Law in Debate
- Unleashing Garrett Clayton: Actor on Studying Porn, Keeping His Sexuality Private & How His Latest Movie's Greatest Critic Brent Corrigan 'Let the Movie Get Made'
- Idina Menzel on Working Toward LGBT Icon Status, a Lesbian Elsa & Angry Gays Who Oppose Her 'Beaches' Remake
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!
As an openly gay man, Fred Hoffman said, "I really didn't know if there would be an issue." And while he wasn't waving rainbow flags when he was recruited by Chrysler in 1988, he was told being gay wasn't a problem.View More Automotive
This Week's Issue
Download or view this week's print issue today!
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!