Tory Vincent, ACLU of Michigan LGBT Project Leadership Committee member
How many times have you heard someone say they aren't happy with the decisions being made in our state?
I don't know about you, but if I had a nickel for every time, I'd be rich. But consider how many of us try to change our unhappiness?
I admit that we live in a fast paced world, but I recently took my first step when I attended the ACLU of Michigan LGBT Project Supreme Court Forum last week. My first encounter with the LGBT project was an eye opener! Broadly, the LGBT project focuses on five main issue areas: Relationships, Schools and Youth, Parenting, Transgender, and Discrimination.
Jay Kaplan, ACLU of Michigan LGBT Project staff attorney, lead the forum in Detroit. He enthusiastically provided an education on the background of the Michigan Supreme Court and its impact on LGBT equality. With the mid-term elections right around the corner on November 2, there couldn't be a better time to make sure people are making informed choices.
Unfortunately, many people still aren't aware that Michigan currently doesn't provide any civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. A handful of recently decided Michigan Supreme Court cases presented at the forum were carefully discussed that demonstrated the LGBT community's lack of protections. It was especially eye opening for me when I learned that there was a time, for more than a decade in Washtenaw County, when same-sex couples could jointly adopt children, but in 2002 that abruptly ended just because the chief justice at the time took issue with it. The ease with which LGBT rights and equality have been taken away in our state is unsettling.
As cliche as it sounds, change won't just come to our front door. At the very least, I'd recommend that if LGBT issues are important to you, come to the next Supreme Court Forum in Royal Oak at the Five15, Media, Mojo and More Bookstore on October 21 at 7 p.m. The event is hosted by the ACLU of Michigan LGBT Project and ACLU of Michigan LGBT Leadership Committee. For more information about this event and the ACLU's LGBT Project, visit www.aclumich.org.