No matter how many lawyers we throw at some issues, it's the activism of our members and supporters that creates positive change both locally and nationwide.
In this week's Rights Review, read more about how public outcry is driving change on ending school bullying, defying censorship in Plymouth-Canton, and fighting the discriminatory ban on domestic partnership benefits for some public employers.
Michigan Cities Stand Up for LGBT Families
All over the state, cities and townships are standing up for what's right for Michigan families. This week, the East Lansing City Council voted unanimously to support our challenge against a new law that unfairly targets same-sex couples.
In January, we launched a lawsuit on behalf of school teachers, city and county workers after Governor Snyder signed a new state law that would bar some public employers from offering health care insurance to the domestic partners of their employees.
Ann Arbor passed a resolution supporting our suit last month and other cities in Michigan are soon to follow.
This law will hurt the ability for local municipalities and school districts to attract the best and brightest. The support from local communities sends a strong message that Michiganders want to live in an inclusive, tolerant state (via State News & Huffington Post).
Banning Books in Plymouth Canton?
You would think that almost a hundred years after the ACLU defended James Joyce's Ulysses, we could stop explaining why banning books is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools must not have gotten the memo.
Students in an AP English class had two novels the class was studying removed after two parents complained about their content. After public outcry from members of the Metro Detroit Branch, Supporters of Academic Integrity in Plymouth-Canton, and other parents, Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer-winning Beloved was reinstated to the curriculum.
However, Graham Swift’s Waterland remains banned.
Educational freedom is essential to our democracy. We must not allow the opinions of a few deny students valuable works of literature(via the Eastern Echo, Detroit News & the Wall Street Journal).
A Mother and Son Fight Back Against School Bullying
We have all heard about the discrimination that LGBT students suffer in school. Some of us have endured such bullying. But rarely have we seen it in happen as clearly as when the video showing Zach Collins being beaten began circulating on the internet.
Zach and his mother Becky tried to alert school officials to the harassment that Zach experienced at school based on his perceived sexual orientation for years.
Students like Zach are being harassed all across the country, creating a toxic environment that denies LGBT students their right to an equal education.
Now they're asking you to stand up and be heard: Urge Congress to pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act to make schools safe and fair for students like Zach (via the Advocate & the Blog of Rights).