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‘New day’ for LGBTQ+ officials in Michigan, preparing for new legislative leadership roles ⋆ Michigan Advance


“inspection.”

State Senator Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) called the results of the November 8 election: He called this campaign his cycle “one of the most ferocious anti-LGBTQ campaign cycles he’s ever had.” But the agenda was rejected outright by Michigan voters.

“It felt like Republicans were on to something,” said Moss, who became the state’s first openly gay senator. Michigan Advance“They were so strong For the LGBTQ communitythey really made this the centerpiece of their campaign. trans community When drag queen.

Senator Jeremy Moss at General Motors Detroit Hamtramack Assembly Plant on September 22, 2019 | Andrew Ross

“And it felt like, ‘Are they really going to get a political liftoff with this?’ , brought about by people having enough of this group. “

Instead, by most measures, it was Michigan Republicans who were beaten on November 8th.

tenacious democrat Supported Through Republican violence, the LGBTQ+ community seized power in Lansing for the first time in nearly 40 years and saw their political fortunes defy expert predictions. win the majority Manage executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and state boards of education.

All three Republican candidates at the top of the ticket.gubernatorial candidate Tudor DixonProsecutor General Candidate Matthew Deperno Candidate for Secretary of State Christina Karamomade anti-LGBTQ+ issues an important part of the campaign.

All three were utterly defeated by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, respectively, with at least some statewide credit. union Percentage of LGBTQ+ organizations with the largest national voting (GOTV) effort.

#HateWontWin, a coalition of LGBTQ+ organizations and allies in Michigan, knocked on over 110,000 doors, made over 115,000 calls, texted over 58,000 people, and collected over 46,000 pledges from voters. and equal rights.

Erin Knott, Executive Director of Equality Michigan, said: advance That the coalition had achieved four major goals on 8 November.

Michigan Union works to get votes because basic LGBTQ+ rights are at stake

“We see equality as a top priority for hundreds of thousands of voters, especially in key areas,” she said. “We protected the equality leader at the top of the ticket. We set a new record for elected officials who identified as LGBTQ+.”

On the last point, the results speak for themselves, as all Democrats in the legislative LGBTQ+ caucus more than doubled from three to seven.

Even if Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) leaves office on a tenure, current Reps. Joined by Diebendorf. (D-Lansing), Mike McFaul (D-Hazel Park), Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield), Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor).

Both Moss and Poftsky will make history in major leadership roles. Poftsky will serve as president pro tempore of the House of Representatives, and Moss will serve as president pro tempore of the Senate.

“We know that representation is important and that it only benefits our community. There are people in legislatures and leadership positions who support it,” Knott said.

But despite these advances, Knott said, hateful rhetoric aimed at young people is still on the rise, especially around transgender issues.

“So while we’re taking our victory laps now and celebrating the victories coming out of Michigan, that hasn’t stopped the amount of violence, rhetoric, and bullying we see in communities around the world. I did. state,” she said. “There are communities in the Upper Peninsula where superintendents and school board presidents have dared to say that LGBTQ youth will not be bullied if they go there. back to closetSo between now and 2024, we have a lot of work to do before people can eat apples again. “

One aspect of that effort is to use its newly acquired electoral power to enact change that proponents say is long overdue.

We’re taking our victory laps now and celebrating the victories we’ve taken from Michigan, but nothing can dampen the amount of violence, rhetoric, and bullying we see in communities across the state.

– Erin Knott, Executive Director of Equality Michigan

Moss said top of the Democratic agenda for the next session would be to amend the language of the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to codify protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

Recently, the Michigan Supreme Court control The law provides those protections, and LGBTQ+ advocates say it needs to be made permanent.

Other issues Moss wants to address are prohibited conversion therapy eliminate the LGBTQ+ panic defense.

Republicans have maintained a majority in the Senate for the past 40 years, so they have veto power over most proposed LGBTQ+ legislation. But Moss believes most of that opposition comes from Republican leaders and not necessarily from ordinary people.

“I’ve been saying this all along, and I believe the numbers back it up. If some of these measures were put on the ballot today with a Republican majority, they would pass.” I can’t imagine it will occupy, but I believe we’ll be making bipartisan progress on all these things we’ve been talking about for a while. Some Republican could join us.”

According to Moss, A YOUNGER, MORE DIVERSE VOTER It will become increasingly difficult to use LGBTQ+ issues to manipulate voters, making it harder for extremist elements to maintain control of the Republican Party.

“This anti-LGBTQ political game didn’t last long because young people don’t have this narrow perspective like the older generation,” he said. “But I’m still a firm believer in Harvey Milk’s 45-year-old philosophy. Coming out is the most political thing you can do to shatter myths and destroy stereotypes.” ”

Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks at the final rally of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s re-election campaign on November 7, 2022, in East Lansing. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was Michigan’s first openly gay senator to win by nearly 10 points over Matthew Deperno.

“I find these discussions appalling and disgusting, especially when it comes to younger generations, because there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Gen Zs and young millennials who identify themselves as part of the community, “Because they all have friends. They grew up with people who are members of their community,” she said. advance“And they got together in so many that I think that contributed a lot to the Republican Party’s defeat.”

But from Nessel’s perspective, the Republican Party’s out-of-sync with the public on LGBTQ+ issues is not an isolated position.

A prime example, she says, is the anti-abortion Republican Party. This month, voters in Michigan approved Prop. 3, a constitutional amendment that guarantees abortion rights, by a 13-point margin.

“If anything, we’ve found that the vast majority of Michigans and Americans want abortion to remain safe and legal,” Nessel said. had parties that opposed it defiantly and opposed it in a very extreme way, so of course all the major candidates had a policy of no exceptions. It is not the point of view to

Going forward, Nessel believes decisive legislative action is needed to better protect the LGBTQ+ community.

“Let’s face it,” she said. “All the protections that exist today are the outcome of courts, but the important thing to remember is that courts change over time, as we know them. It is a big question whether the court’s decisions that allow

In addition to amending ELCRA and state ethnic intimidation laws, Nessel said that with respect to same-sex marriage: constitutional amendment to ban it Michigan must officially remove it despite the fact that in 2015 Obergfell A U.S. Supreme Court decision nullified it.

Joseph Fons with a pride flag stands in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building after a court ruled that LGBTQ people cannot be reprimanded or fired based on their sexual orientation on June 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. standing. | | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“Perhaps we will pass a law that specifically allows same-sex marriage and, of course, interracial marriage,” Nessel said. “I can’t believe that in 2022 we are still talking about the need to protect interracial marriages, but let’s face it. Loving vs Virginia When Obergefel vs Hodges As for the jurisprudence supporting those views, it really isn’t that different. “

Loving vs Virginia It was the 1967 decision that legalized interracial marriage. When SCOTUS capsizes Law vs Wade Earlier this year, Associate Judge Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion said the court “should reconsider all of this court’s substantial due process precedents.”

It was then opened that reasoning love When Obergfell for a potential reversal by the court’s right-wing majority.

“Honestly, where nationality, ethnicity, race, sex and gender are protected by law, I think sexual orientation and gender identity should be added. Any court would be able to say, “Well, these classes are not specifically included. Congress never intended to protect those classes.” “Because we always run the risk of courts later interpreting it differently. You don’t have to worry about

For Moss, with all that missing, he has no choice but to act.

“It’s a new day. For a long time, I don’t think LGBTQ people could be what they are invisible.” Because the more LGBTQ people we see and the more LGBTQ people who make public policy decisions, the more we all stand for it.”

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