From left to right in back: Michael Freeman (an elected Trustee for Mott Community College), Mark LaChey (MDP LGBT&A Caucus Chair), U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee, State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, State Rep. Sheldon Neeley, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, State Rep. Jon Hoadley. Front: Dale Weighill (former Flint City Council VP) and Stevi Atkins (CEO of Wellness AIDS Services in Flint). Photo courtesy: Drew Marsh

Lawmakers Voice Support For LGBT Community

BY Jan Stevenson

FLINT - Over 200 Genesee County residents and political leaders came out on a sunny afternoon to discuss how to move forward on LGBT issues July 19. A hot topic was how to move forward to amend Michigan's civil right's legislation, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, to include LGBT people and gender identity.

"There's a lot of friends and allies out there that support equality, and we want to make sure that they know that there's people standing with them. Until we get full equality in this country, we're going to keep fighting," said state Sen. Jim Ananich.

"What we need here in Michigan first and foremost, and it can come from Washington or it can come from Lansing, is (a) nondiscrimination statute that protects for employment, housing and public accommodation," said Mark LaChey, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party LGBT and Allies Caucus.

"It also reminds us that there's a lot further we have to travel when it comes to housing, credit or employment," said U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee. "It's still possible that people can be discriminated against just because they happen to be a LGBT member of our community, and that's wrong."

The new MDP chair, state Rep. Brandon Dillon, attended the summer mixer. He said he is excited about his new leadership position and the chance to work closely with the Party's LGBT Caucus

The event was hosted by Ananich, former Flint City Council Vice President Dale Weighill, and the LGBT & Allies Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party. The mixer was on the terrace of the Flint Farmers' Market.


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