LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Michigan

March 26, 2015

Claims policy 'enables sexual harassment and endangers women and kids'

A Michigan woman is suing a gym over its trans-friendly locker room policy.

Yvette Cormier, 48, is seeking more than $25,000 in damages after Planet Fitness canceled her membership for complaining to gym-goers about a transgender woman she saw in the locker room.

The gym's non-discrimination policy states that 'members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.'

March 25, 2015

LGBTI families 'waiting for someone to invite them' to destinations, he adds

A travel expert has implored destinations in the US state of Michigan to reach out to LGBTI families – saying 'they are waiting for someone to invite them.'

Thomas Roth, founder of Community Marketing Inc. (CMI) – a company that researches LGBTI marketplace intelligence – was speaking at the Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism earlier this week, about his company's survey of 45,000 LGBTI people.

It found that 39% of respondents spend more at LGBTI-friendly destinations.

March 16, 2015

Comment sparks protests outside his church

A Michigan pastor has sparked protests after he compared LGBTI people to ax murderers.

Clint Echols, pastor of First Baptist Church in Zeeland, framed homosexuality as 'lifestyle choice' that could be made at any moment in life.

'They say "oh wait a second, I’m gay, I’m bisexual, I want to change my gender." And that’s being true to themselves and being true to their internal compass,' he said during a 1 March sermon.

March 12, 2015

Michigan school says the LGBTI charity 'conflicts' with its mission

A Christian university in Michigan has canceled a bake sale in aid of homeless LGBTI youth.

Andrews University (AU) said the charity Project Fierce Chicago 'conflicts' with the private Seventh Day Adventist school's mission.

The organizer of the sale, Eliel Cruz, said AU excluded the school's unofficial LGBTI group Aull4One 'on all channels.'

March 11, 2015

Planet Fitness says she violated its 'no-judgement policy'

A Planet Fitness in Michigan has canceled the membership of a woman who complained to gym-goers about a transgender woman she saw in the locker room.

Yvette Cormier, 48, said she was 'stunned and shocked' and complained to the front desk and corporate offices on Saturday 28 February.

'They told me the same thing, that he was allowed in there because that's the sex he wants to be,' she told WNEM.

March 6, 2015

A total of 379 businesses – many of which are household names – signed a brief urging the Supreme Court to rule in favour of allowing same-sex marriage across all states in the US

The US Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage cases from four states on 28 April.

The cases, filed out Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, are expected to settle the marriage equality issue nationwide.

March 5, 2015

Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio cases expected to settle marriage equality issue for the nation

The US Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage cases from four states on 28 April.

The cases, filed out Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, are expected to settle the marriage equality issue nationwide.

The high court will hear cases where federal judges had struck down marriage bans but those decisions were reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

The Court is expected to issue a decision by the end of June 2015.

February 19, 2015

Claims God gave her the free choice to not look after the young patient

A doctor will not look after a six-day-old baby because she has lesbian parents.

Krista and Jamie Contreras, from Michigan, has said Dr Vesna Roi had initially agreed to be the pediatrician to their daughter Bay.

But they were dumbfounded when they received a letter from the doctor, saying after 'much prayer', Roi had a change of heart.

The couple had went to Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville to get a check up for Bay, and were told another doctor would have to see their daughter.

February 17, 2015

The RuPaul's Drag Race star shares her travel stories with Gay Star News

Pandora Boxx has undoubtedly been one of the stars to emerge from the phenomenon that is RuPaul's Drag Race. A frequent flyer who jets around the world to perform, we recently caught up with Pandora to swap travel stories.

What's been the most random destination you've visited?

February 14, 2015

Close to half of Americans know a gay couple who has been married

A study sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign shows a majority of US voters are for gay marriage.

January 16, 2015

High court has agreed to hear same-sex marriage cases from four states

The US Supreme Court on Friday (16 January) agreed to take on same-sex marriage cases from four states in order to rule on gay marriage nationwide.

The high court will hear cases out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In each of those cases, federal judges had struck down marriage bans but those decisions were revered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Last October, the justices passed on reviewing five other marriage cases which had pro-marriage decisions from federal appellate courts.

January 15, 2015

Licenses were issues to same-sex couples during brief legal window in March

A federal judge ruled on Thursday (15 January) that Michigan must recognize the same-sex marriages of more than 300 couples who got married in the state last March.

US District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith (pictured) wrote in his opinion: 'Delaying judicial resolution of these issues would serve no useful purpose. To the contrary, such delay would compound the harms these Plaintiffs suffer each day that their marital status remains unrecognized.'

January 13, 2015

'Shirvell's conduct reasonably could have created the impression that neither he nor the department enforced the law in a fair, even-handed manner without bias'

A court has found a former Michigan state's lawyer one-man campaign against an out college student does not fall under First Amendment protection.

Last week the Michigan appeals court ruled against Andrew Shirvell. The former state assistant attorney general was fired in 2010 for harassing the student body president of the University of Michigan, who happened to be gay.

January 13, 2015

'Shirvell's conduct reasonably could have created the impression that neither he nor the department enforced the law in a fair, even-handed manner without bias'

A court has found a former Michigan state's lawyer one-man campaign against an out college student does not fall under First Amendment protection.

Last week the Michigan appeals court ruled against Andrew Shirvell. The former state assistant attorney general was fired in 2010 for harassing the student body president of the University of Michigan, who happened to be gay.

January 10, 2015

Justices met privately Friday to discuss cases including marriage equality cases out of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

The US Supreme Court met in conference on Friday (9 January) to discuss upcoming cases but made no announcement about whether or not it will hear any challenges to gay marriage cases in five states.

The high court is considering hearing cases filed in Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

The justices declined to take on any same-sex marriage cases last year in which defendants appealed circuit court of appeals rulings upholding the striking down of marriage bans.

December 25, 2014

Police suspect suicide

A transgender man was discovered dead in his vehicle in Warren, Michigan on Tuesday, according to police.

Jay Ralko, 22, was found in the parking lot of a Meijer supermarket in Warren. Police suspect he took his own life.

Ralko had a long history of battling bipolar disorder and depression. He went missing for nearly two weeks after leaving a cryptic note for his roommate to take care of his dog, Xena.

Ralko’s sister Molly posted on Facebook that she was proud to be his sister and that he had been tough.

December 24, 2014

Justices have cases out of five states to choose from

The US Supreme Court could decide as early as 9 January whether or not it will hear any challenges to gay marriage cases in five states.

The high court will be in conference on that day and will consider hearing cases filed in Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Louisiana, according to BuzzFeed News.

November 6, 2014

Decision 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opens the doors for US Supreme Court to review cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee

Momentum for marriage equality in the US hit a major roadblock on Thursday (6 November) when a federal appeals court upheld gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals applies to six cases in the four states where federal judges had struck down same-sex marriage bans.

It comes after more than 30 federal rulings since June 2013 declaring bans on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. The previous legal victories have led to same-sex marriage now being legal in 32 states.

October 25, 2014

The women's magazine received backlash from hateful readers after featuring a gay male couple alongside their two daughters, for the first time

Readers of Family Circle, an 82-year-old American women's magazine, were introduced to Chris Osner-Hackett and Bob Osner-Hackett of Michigan, alongside their daughters Cai and Ava. It's the first time the magazine has featured a gay couple talking about their family life, parenting styles, and chaotic dinnertimes in the magazine's new column, 'Modern Life.'

September 25, 2014

'The sexual orientation of a person is just like the color of their skin'

Former US President Jimmy Carter had a lot to say this week about Christianity and discrimination against gay people.

Carter, now 89, was asked about gay rights during an appearance at the 100th anniversary celebration of Michigan's Grand Rapids Community College.

'I never knew of any word or action of Jesus Christ that discriminated against anybody because of who they were,' said Carter, a Democrat who served as president from 1977-81.

September 17, 2014

Associate justice says there will only be urgency for high court if a state ban is upheld

Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the US Supreme Court won't be in a big rush to hear a gay marriage case unless the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds state marriage bans.

If that were to happen, 'there will be some urgency,' Ginsberg said during a talk at the University of Minnesota Law School on Tuesday (16 September).

The Sixth Circuit covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee and has marriage equality cases pending.

August 14, 2014

The Williams Institute has crunched the numbers and is suggesting that legalizing same-sex marriage in the state would result in an additional $53.2 million in spending in the state – generating jobs and tax revenue

The University of Southern California Los Angeles’ Williams Institute has conducted a study on the economic benefits that legalizing same-sex marriage would have for the US state of Michigan, and has calculated there would be extra spending in the state to the tune of $53.2 million if it were to do so.

Researchers used census data and figures on post legalizing same-sex marriage spending booms in other states to arrive at that figure.

August 6, 2014

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio will rule on cases in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee

A three-judge panel of the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard oral arguments Wednesday (6 August) in six cases challenges gay marriage bans in four different states.

The judges will be deciding whether to uphold rulings by various federal judges in lower courts who ruled that the marriage bans in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio are unconstitutional.

The Court heard the Michigan case first, followed by two Ohio cases, then two Kentucky cases, and finally the Tennessee case.

Rulings are not expected for a few more weeks.

July 30, 2014

Court to hear six challenges to laws banning marriage equality in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee next week

The fight for marriage equality in the US will have a historic day next week (6 August) when a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in six different cases from four states.

Judges for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, located in Ohio, is considering challenges to gay marriage bans in Kentucky (two cases), Michigan, Ohio (two cases), and Tennessee.

It will mark the fourth argument heard by a federal circuit court since the US Supreme Court’s decision last summer which struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).