Shortly after signing an official proclamation declaring June Pride month in advance of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attended a community town hall meeting at the Affirmations LGBTQ community center in Ferndale.
Sen. Jeremy Moss took the stage, the first openly gay member of the Michigan state Senate. He congratulated the Southeast Michigan community first in honor of the gains made in the 50 years since Stonewall occurred and emphasized a message from the late Harvey Milk who encouraged LGBTQ people to advocate simply by living open and honest lives surrounding their sexuality. He then went on to talk about the significance of Whitmer’s public support of the proposed expansion of Michigan’s civil rights act to include LGBTQ people.
“So, this comes on the eve of an important day tomorrow, where we have an ally, a strong, vocal ally in the governor’s office at last, and tomorrow she is opening up her office in the capitol to us as we introduce an expansion to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act,” Moss said to a cheering crowd. “We are going to work to update our state’s civil rights law to include discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression.”
He underscored the strength of Whitmer’s support, too, by pointing to how quickly she ensured that state employees could not be fired for identifying as LGBTQ.
“Not only is she true to her word by holding this event six months into her new administration, but I got a call on, like, day five of the administration that said, ‘Jeremy, we’re going to be at Affirmations on Monday, we need you to come along.’” Moss said. “Because she on day seven, day seven of her administration, signed protections from discrimination for LGBT state employees. That was a day seven act. The last governor did something similar on the third-to-last day in his eight-year term. … So, we have somebody who is fighting for us as if she were part of the community and that is just so refreshing and so different.”
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