American Family Association of Michigan president Gary Glenn won a Republican primary for a seat in the Michigan state House yesterday, making him potentially the second most virulently anti-gay GOP candidate in the country, behind Colorado demon-hunter Gordon Klingenschmitt.
Glenn was a prominent supporter of Michigan’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and was a big backer of his “very special friend” Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid. As the head of the American Family Association’s Michigan affiliate, Glenn has pushed any number of extreme anti-gay positions:
- Wants states to be able to recriminalize homosexuality: “[W]e believe that states should be free to regulate and prohibit behavior that’s a violation of community standards and a proven threat to public health and safety — including, as most of the United States did throughout its history, homosexual behavior.”
- Warned that companies should be wary of hiring LGBT people.
- Wanted public schools to ban Gay Straight Alliances because they promote “homosexual propaganda” and “risky behavior.”
- Called anti-bullying measures the “Trojan horse” of “homosexual activists.”
- Was a plaintiff in a lawsuit to stop the 2009 federal hate crimes law by falsely claiming it would criminalize the Bible.
- Targeted openly gay state House candidate, narrating a robocall that used the word “homosexual” ten times.
This, of course, is all run of the mill for someone associated with the American Family Association.
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
BREAKING: Incumbent Kerry “Santa Claus” Bentivolio has lost his #MI11 GOP primary to Foreclosure King Dave Trott. #MIPrimary
Local news is calling #MI11 for Dave Trott, Rep. Kerry “Santa” Bentivolio’s primary challenger. One incumbent the GOP didn’t want to win.— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) August 6, 2014
Marriage Equality Litigation At The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals: An Eventful Few Days For Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee
On this Wednesday, August 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will review same-sex marriage cases from each of the four states in its geographic area – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. A panel of three judges in Cincinnati will hear the landmark cases from the four states.
April DeBoer and her family, at the center of one of the cases from Michigan, will be participating in a couple of events before heading down to Cincinnati for Wednesday’s hearing. DeBoer and her partner of fourteen years, Jayne Rowse originally challenged Michigan’s same-sex marriageban in 2012 for the right to jointly adopt their children. Tuesday evening two simultaneous interfaith rallies will take place in Warren and Lansing, Michigan. Faith leaders from many congregations, including Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Jewish, American Baptist and more will give their blessings to all families. “From a faith perspective, marriage equality is about recognizing lifelong love and commitment within the full diversity of human experience,” said Reverend Mike Cooper, Inclusive Justice Board Member and Associate Pastor of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Lansing.
Tennessee is already preparing to welcome marriage equality into the state. The Tennessee Equality Project Foundation is touring around the state through the month of August to make sure everyone is ready for the first days of marriage equality. The group is putting on information sessions for same-sex couples who would like to get married, allies who are interested in volunteering to help with safety and logistics, and clergy and elected officials who want to solemnize marriages.
On the eve of the hearing in Cincinnati, the Rally for Marriage will bring together people from all four states to cheer on marriage equality and build excitement for Wednesday’s events. According to Why Marriage Matters Ohio, this will be the largest marriage equality rally Ohio has ever seen, with attendees being encouraged to wear red in support of marriage equality. Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is among the featured speakers, along with April DeBoer and her family.
And on the day of the hearing, there will be a March for Marriage Equality in front of the Cincinnati Federal Court House while the hearing takes place.
Wednesday will be a momentous day for individuals and families in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Attend one of the events in your area and be on the lookout for more news after Wednesday! And visit www.glaad.org/marriage for the latest marriage equality news.
A group of 16 male lawmakers in Michigan have introduced a package of bills that would criminalize abortions after a fetal heartbeat can first be detected. So-called “fetal heartbeat” measures, which can outlaw the procedure as early as five or six weeks, represent the most radical type of abortion ban that’s ever been approved on a state level.
House Bill 5643, House Bill 5644, and House Bill 5645 were introduced as companion measures this week. The first measure requires doctors to find the fetal heartbeat and offer women a chance to listen to it before proceeding with an abortion; the second two would ban the procedure altogether after that point, and level a $50,000 fine against doctors who violate that rule.
In order to detect a fetal heartbeat at the earliest stage, doctors typically need to use an invasive transvaginal probe — something that has sparked outrage in the past, as women’s health advocates have decried mandatory probes as state-sponsored rape.
The leading anti-choice group in the state, Right to Life of Michigan, has declined to throw its weight behind the second two bills. A spokesperson for the group told Michigan Radio that they support the conversation about “the fact that this is an actual baby with a heartbeat,” but they do not believe a six-week abortion ban would hold up in court.
Indeed, it’s not much of a leap to assume that Michigan would be in for a costly legal battle if the legislature approves a harsh six-week ban. After North Dakota became the first state in the country to approve a heartbeat ban last year, a federal judge overturned it, pointing out that it’s blatantly unconstitutional. Under Roe v. Wade, abortion services are legalized until the point of viability, which is typically around 24 weeks.
Across the country, abortion opponents have been divided on heartbeat bills, which have failed to advance in states like Ohio, Alabama, and Kansas because Republican lawmakers won’t always agree to support them. In general, the anti-choice community hasn’t agreed on a consistent strategy to end abortion — it’s divided over whether it’s better to gradually chip away at Roe v. Wade by passing indirect measures to make it harder to get an abortion, or whether it’s necessary to take a bold stance to ban nearly all abortions.
This past year, Michigan made national headlines for some of its other attacks on abortion rights. In March, a controversial new state law took effect that will ban women from using their insurance coverage for abortion services, requiring them to purchase a separate rider if they don’t want to pay for the total cost of an abortion out of pocket — even in cases when they’ve gotten pregnant from rape or incest. The law was widely derided as “rape insurance.”
This week, Daily Kos is rolling out a series of gubernatorial endorsements. Yesterday, Markos outlined just how important these races are.Every one of these candidates we can get elected will be an incumbent running for re-election in 2018, with all the advantages that entails. And the damage we can undo by winning these races and having a seat at the redistricting table is huge. How huge? If the states of Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin apportioned their congressional districts in a 50-50 fashion, that would net Democrats 19-20 seats, enough to retake the majority. And we don’t need to control the complete redistricting machine. A seat at the table could mean either a compromise map, or a judge getting to write the lines. And either way, Democrats win.Up today: Michigan, which we’ll take back with Democrat Mark Schauer. In 2012, President Obama took the state (one of Mitt Romney’s many home states, this one with the right height of trees) by 9.5 points. Ten frigging points in this blue state. So why is their current governor this guy?After a day when thousands of demonstrators swarmed the Capitol and legislators had an impassioned debate on the floor of a lame-duck House of Representatives, Gov. Rick Snyder signed two bills that made Michigan a right-to-work state.(That came just months after Snyder said right-to-work was “very divisive” and “not on my agenda.”) Snyder’s greatest hits also includes signing ”a controversial package of abortion restrictions that will limit abortion access for women who live in rural areas … and enact unnecessary, complicated rules for abortion clinics and providers.” And working to “smooth the path for a high-polluting industrial plant that wants to release even more toxic air emissions.” And don’t forget Snyder’s $1 billion in cuts to public education.
Snyder is in the governor’s seat in Michigan because of the nation’s collective freakout of 2010.Today we’re endorsing Rep. Mark Schauer, a victim of that freakout, losing his congressional seat to Tim Walberg. Schauer, a former Michigan state senator, was recognized back home in his one term in Congress for his strong support of the Affordable Care Act and for fighting to hold a major polluter responsible for “the largest oil spill ever to strike the Midwest.” In the interim, Schauer has worked back home in Michigan against the Snyder regime, getting pepper sprayed in the protests against the right-to-work law.
Schauer is great on every issue that matters, you can see that in this great interview he gave to Eclectablog. In the polling on this race, Snyder is consistently under 50 percent, with slipping approvals, and Schauer is in striking distance, within a range of 3 points to 10 points down, making this one more than viable. We don’t have to convince you how critical this one is. It’s Michigan.
Give $3 today to help get Michigan in the solid blue column in 2014 and beyond.
BREAKING: The longtime Democratic lawmaker from Michigan who was prevented from getting on the primary ballot for the Democratic Party, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., has been allowed back on the ballot through a court order.
Longtime Rep. John Conyers lost his appeal to a decision that took his name off of Michigan’s primary ballot for his current seat in the House.
Longtime Rep. John Conyers lost his appeal to a decision that took his name off of Michigan’s primary ballot for his current seat in the House. Conyers, if re-elected, would be the longest-serving current member of Congress. The current longest-serving member of Congress, Rep. John Dingell also of Michigan, will retire at the end of this term.
How did the longtime Democratic Representative end up in this position? It has to do with Michigan’s strict laws governing who may appear on an election ballot. This year, Conyers faced a primary challenger: Rev. Horace Sheffield, from Detroit. Both Sheffield and Conyers had to collect a certain number of valid signatures in order to get a spot on the August 5 primary ballot. At first, it looked like both had succeeded. That is, until Sheffield challenged the validity of several of Conyers’s signature collectors, on the grounds that they may not have been registered voters at the time they were working for the campaign. It’s a strange rule, but it’s still the rule. As it turns out, two of Conyers’s signature collectors didn’t meet that requirement, meaning that all of the signatures they collected — including those deemed as valid signatures from voters in the 13th district — were invalidated.
Then, the Wayne County Clerk’s office announced that without those signatures, Conyers’s campaign didn’t have enough to make it on the ballot: ”I am bound by the current laws and statutes of the State of Michigan that set forth very specific and narrow instructions regarding candidate petitions and the authority of the County Clerk,” Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett said earlier in May. Conyers had the right under Michigan law to appeal to the Michigan Secretary of State, but that appeal did not go in his favor.
As the Associated Press notes, Conyers has one last hope for an intervention here: at the request of his campaign, a federal judge is expected to rule later today on whether the law itself is constitutional. Unless that decision goes in his favor, however, Conyers has to hope that he can pull together enough write-in votes to keep his career going after nearly 50 years in office.
Source: Abby Ohlheiser for The Wire
An anti-gay protester who decided to use Mother’s Day to spread a message of hate got a slushie thrown at her by a disgruntled passerby.
Christine Weick, an author from Michigan, stood at a busy intersection in Grandville, Michigan, on Sunday, May 11, holding a sign that read: “Thank your mom today for not being gay.” NBC affiliate WOOD got a tip about the demonstration and sent a cameraperson to the scene. While the cameras were rolling, a woman named Jessica Prince approached Weick and threw a slushie at her. Weick threatened to pepper-spray Prince, who gave her the finger.
“Truth is hate to those that hate the truth, and this is the truth,” Weick told WOOD. “They don’t like it and they label me a hater, and it isn’t that at all. I love them enough to tell them they are on the wrong path.”
Although Prince’s slushie gesture made headlines, others protested Weick’s protest with signs of their own, with messages like “Thank your mom if you’re not a BIGOT! Judge not” and “F**k her.”
Weick took to her Facebook page to write about the incident.
Yes… this was my Mother’s Day. The day was full of surprises too. I did not expect the media to get involved, let alone tape the attack! The young man standing next to me that was holding the f**k her sign actually apologized and changed the sign after a number of people scolded him. Please pray for Zack as I was able to share the Gospel with him.
Weick is the author of Explain This! A Verse by Verse Explanation of the Book of Revelations. She is a born-again Christian. In March, she protested during the trial to overturn Michigan’s gay marriage ban with a sign saying “Warning! God draws a ling on gay marriage.”
Last year, she was “frustrated” by the lack of support from other protesters against same-sex marriage, according to Michigan Live.
“There’s a hell for people who don’t repent,” Weick said, adding that same-sex marriage is the “core degradation of our society.”
Jessica Prince, the lady who threw a slushie at homophobic extremist kook Christine Weick, is a hero for what she did to her and is a reminder that bigoted extremism has consequences.
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who would become Congress’ longest-serving member if he is reelected this year, may not even qualify for the Democratic primary ballot.
Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett told WDIV Local 4 News on Friday that two of Conyers’ petition circulators were not registered voters when they collected signatures to get him on the Aug. 5 ballot.
Conyers is currently serving his 25th term representing the state’s 13th District. He is the second most senior member of the House after Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who is retiring this year.
Michigan law requires that petition gatherers be registered voters. The Detroit News reported Friday that the two petition circulators appear to have registered on Monday, a week after the petitions were due.
An investigation into a formal challenge of Conyers’ signatures by one of his primary opponents, the Rev. Horace Sheffield, is expected to result in a decision by Wednesday.
If Conyers is found to not have enough valid petition signatures, he can appeal the ruling to either the secretary of state or the Wayne County Circuit Court. If an appeal fails, the representative could have to resort to running as a write-in candidate.
By a 6 to 2 vote, the divided court concluded that neither the Constitution nor Supreme Court precedents provide authority for the courts to overturn Michigan laws that allow the voters to determine whether racial preferences may be considered in decisions such as school admissions.
Dan Calabrese, the editor-in-chief of Herman Cain’s Best of Cain website, is appalled that Michigan Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Mark Schauer has picked “Vagina Woman” Lisa Brown to be his running mate.
In 2012, Republicans in the Michigan House barred Brown, then a state representative, from speaking on the House floor after she used the word “vagina” in a speech against an anti-choice bill.
In a column titled “Democrats pick The Vagina Woman for Michigan’s Lt. Governor” (url: “democrats-nominate-the-vagina”), Calabrese writes that Brown and Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis are “highly un-accomplished” and that their “main claim to fame is having talked publicly about their own sexual organs.”
“[I]t’s worth taking a look when a candidate chooses a running mate with nothing much to recommend her except the fact that she once angrily mentioned one of her own body parts during a legislative session,” Calabrese adds, also objecting to the fact that Brown, who is now a county clerk, issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples this month in the days before a marriage equality ruling was stayed.
It is not normally worth much news coverage when a candidate picks a running mate, although it usually gets a fair amount because political junkies tend to be obsessed with such minutia. But it’s worth taking a look when a candidate chooses a running mate with nothing much to recommend her except the fact that she once angrily mentioned one of her own body parts during a legislative session, and that brings us to Mark Schauer, Michigan’s presumptive Democrat nominee for governor, and his new running mate, Lisa Brown[.]
But it’s the same thing they did in Texas, where the highly un-accomplished Wendy Davis is being touted for governor because she got a lot of media attention for staging a talk-a-thon in protest of restrictions on abortion. That’s not working out too well, as Davis is way behind in the polls and her campaign has been beset by revelations about her supposedly inspirational life story. But that’s what you get when you choose a candidate based on personal media narrative - especially one as flimsly as this - rather than actual qualifications.
Mark Schauer is no great prize either. He served one term in Congress before being turned out in the 2010 Red Wave election, but he was there long enough to vote for Obama’s massive “stimulus” boondoggle and, of course, ObamaCare. He now spends his time engaging in every conventional Democrat pander of the moment, including demands that the minimum wage be raised and lots of blather about the “middle class” and so forth. And now he’s proving that he knows the current Democrat playbooks very well, which is why he has selected the latest so-called victim of the “war on women” on the apparent belief that voters want to put the fortunes of their states in the hands of people whose main claim to fame is having talked publicly about their own sexual organs.
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
The federal government will recognize the 300-odd same-sex marriages performed in Michigan over the weekend after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban, but before the Governor put a stop to them.
Same sex couples are married in a group by the Oakland County Clerk in Pontiac, Michigan. (AP)
The federal government will recognize the 300-odd same-sex marriages performed over the weekend in Michigan after a federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban. That’s despite Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s announcement this week that his state will not recognize those marriages, citing a stay on the court decision issued last Saturday.
The federal government’s decision was announced on Friday morning by Attorney General Eric Holder, who noted that federal recognition means those couples “will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.” He added:
“Last June’s decision by the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor was a victory for equal protection under the law and a historic step toward equality for all American families. The Department of Justice continues to work with its federal partners to implement this decision across the government. And we will remain steadfast in our commitment to realizing our country’s founding ideals of equality, opportunity, and justice for all.”
Holder’s decision consistent with the government’s stance towards 1,300 married same-sex couples in Utah, who face a similar limbo of federal, but not state, recognition of their marriages while a court battle over a state ban continues. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced in January that his administration considers those marriages “on hold” until the issue is resolved. Similarly, Snyder’s statement announcing the state’s position acknowledges that the couples who married on Saturday “had a legal marriage.” But with the restoration of the state ban, he argued, Michigan was not obligated to recognize those marriages.
Utah and Michigan bucked an earlier trend among states with contested same-sex marriages. Both California and New Mexico (states that now permanently recognize gay marriage) have recognized marriages performed during temporary windows where same-sex marriage was legal. In California, for instance, the state recognized the 18,000 same-sex couples who married after a state court legalized same sex marriage, but before voters passed Proposition 8.
Source: Abby Ohlheiser for The Wire
BREAKING: #MI08 Congressman Mike Rogers (R) NOT running for re-election
With Mike Rogers retiring, this seat [MI-08] goes to tossup.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., announces he won’t seek re-election; plans to start national radio program after serving out end of term - @AP— Breaking Politics (@breakingpol) March 28, 2014
The temporary stay issued after a federal judge struck down Michigan’s law banning same-sex marriage has been extended until the state completes the appeals process.
That process could take some time. While Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told the Grand Rapids Press that he hoped the case would be resolved “as quickly as possible,” he has said that he will pursue the appeal all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Some state attorney generals have declined to pursue a defense of same-sex marriage bans. Others have fought against those bans.
But Schuette is in the middle of a re-election campaign and is making his fight against same-sex marriage part of his platform, even writing an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press about it today:
Moreover, Michigan’s voters had a rational basis for their vote: Marriage has been understood to be between one man and one woman by virtually all civilizations throughout the centuries. The notion that marriage would be anything else has only emerged in the last few decades. It is not irrational for voters to support the belief that a mom and a dad are not interchangeable.
But I also know that there is a difference between a buffet and the state’s constitution. This fundamental document is not a cafeteria in which you can pick and choose which measures are enforced and defended.
That is why I am defending Detroit’s cops’ and firefighters’ rights to their pensions, because the Michigan Constitution says pensions shall not be ‘diminished or impaired.’
That is why I went to the United States Supreme Court to defend equal treatment in admissions to our state’s outstanding colleges and universities. Because it is fundamentally wrong to treat people differently based on the color of skin, gender, race or ethnicity.
Yes, he did somehow manage to be against same-sex marriage but for “equal treatment” in the very same letter. Treating someone differently based on the color of skin, gender, race or ethnicity is fundamentally wrong. Treating someone differently on the basis of sexual orientation is rational. Also, something about public safety officials shoehorned in to try to get more votes.
In the meantime, same-sex couples cannot get married in the state, and the 300 or so who managed to get in the seven-hour window before the ruling was stayed still don’t know whether or not their marriages will actually be recognized by the state. They will, at least, be entitled to federal marriage benefits.
There was hope that Gov. Rick Snyder would make a decision whether or not the state would recognize those marriages by now, but he has so far declined to do so. His spokeswoman said he “doesn’t want to get distracted by issues that could divert his attention from jobs and the economy.”
Source: Sara Morrison for The Wire
On March 24, 2014, the Michigan Democratic Party released emails that show Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, along with his former budget director and current adviser, colluded to give a massive taxpayer funded subsidy to a member of the governor’s family.
Cousin George’s furniture business got a big boost in Rick Snyder’s budget.
Governor Rick Snyder’s CEO cousin, George Snyder’s business partners received more than $19 million dollars, after jotting off a quick email to cousin Rick, on April 29th, 2011. Since 2011, the share of the taxpayer budget going to George Snyder’s industry has ballooned to $41 million. What is George Snyder’s industry? Office furniture.