City officials in Kalamazoo, Mich., only weeks after adopting a “perceived gender” bias plan have abandoned it in the face of massive public opposition, but opponents say their concerns still aren’t resolved.
At that time, Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan asserted the case was just one more step in an orchestrated effort by homosexuals to normalize their lifestyle nationwide.
The Kalamazoo ordinance was adopted by city officials in December to ban discrimination based on “a person’s actual or perceived gender, including a person’s self-image, appearance, expression, or behavior, whether or not that … is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s sex at birth.”
But the ordinance became the target of a successful petition effort by concerned residents who had only 20 days to collect at least 1,273 valid signatures to force the city either to repeal the ordinance or put it up for a vote.
City Clerk Scott Borling confirmed more than enough signatures were submitted, so the ordinance’s provisions were suspended immediately and the issue tentatively was expected to be on the next election ballot as city rules provide.
Then, the AFA of Michigan confirmed yesterday, commissioners voted to rescind their original ordinance in a move that now prevents the vote by the people.
Glenn suggested the motives probably were not to meet the desires of the majority of the people.
“Commissioners made clear in their public comments that their only motivation was to sidestep their own city law requiring them to let the people vote on this ordinance,” he said, “then pass the same kind of discriminatory ordinance again a month from now and force citizens to have to circulate petitions all over again to ensure the people have a right to vote.”
A statement from the AFA of Michigan described the maneuver as “nothing more than a slick political ploy to deny the people of Kalamazoo the right to vote on and decide this issue.”
“If commissioners object to that characterization,” Glenn said, “they can immediately disprove it, and we call on them to do so, by issuing a public promise today that whatever new ordinance they construct, they will vote to put it on the ballot for a vote of the people rather than again try to force homosexual activist billionaire Jon Stryker’s personal political agenda into law without letting the people of Kalamazoo vote.”
The Kalamazoo Gazette reported Mayor Bobby Hopewell said, “My intent is that we will have an ordinance that will provide protections to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals.”
But Kalamazoo County Treasurer Mary Balkema said she believes if another proposal is assembled, opponents will gather petition signatures again.
The newspaper reported the complaints of a transsexual, Meghan Fenner, 42, who alleged job and housing discrimination.
“My brother excluded me, and I can’t celebrate Christmas with my parents,” Fenner told the newspaper.
Glenn reported Kalamazoo was the second recent case in which the issue of adding homosexuality and gender identity to the list of protected classes, such as minorities or the handicapped, was addressed in Michigan.
Two months ago, voters in Hamtramck – who supported Barack Obama by a margin of about four-to-one – rejected the special protection designation for gender identity and perception cases 55-to-45 percent.
Glenn said the issue has come up over and over in local elections in Michigan for the last 10 years.
“This specific issue has been on the ballot in Michigan in this decade more often than the rest of the United States combined,” he said.
“This is the bread-and-butter of [homosexuals’] national strategy,” he said.
Supporters of the campaign first seek so-called “non-discrimination” ordinances from local governments, then demand taxpayer subsidies for insurance for homosexual partners, Glenn explained. They then seek to incorporate protections for cross-dressing and other behaviors in state law and finally target the full legalization of homosexual marriage, he said.
Glenn said national pro-family organizations need to pay attention to each vote because of the discriminatory impact of “gender anti-discrimination” on their ministries.
Under one such law in Massachusetts, he said, Catholic Charities had to close down its adoption services rather than submit to a requirement that it place children with homosexuals in violation of the organization’s religious beliefs. He said for similar reasons the Salvation Army was banned from bidding on contracts to serve the poor in the Chicago area. There also have been repeated efforts to ban the Boy Scouts from gaining access like other groups to public facilities.
WND reported on a similar plan adopted by fiat in Montgomery County, Md., where opponents feared the law would open up women’s locker rooms to men who say they are women.
The issue also has come up in Colorado, where Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a plan that effectively strikes gender-specific restrooms across the state.