On September 22nd, The Human Rights Campaign joined Michigan's Triangle
Foundation in condemning a viciously anti-gay resolution passed by the
Board of Commissioners of Lapeer County last week that supports an
amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as an institution
strictly between one man and one woman. While two other Michigan
counties, Jackson and Oakland, have passed similar resolutions, the
Lapeer resolution was particularly mean-spirited as it linked gay and
lesbian Americans with rampant disease, and painted gay parents as a
threat to "innocent children."
"Each of these resolutions is mean-spirited in nature as they all seek
to deny fundamental rights and protections to gay and lesbian
Americans," said HRC National Field Director Seth Kilbourn. "The
resolution passed last week in Lapeer is particularly malicious as it
plays upon deep seated prejudices by twisting data to the point that it
flies in the face of both expert opinion and research as well as basic
common sense. The Lapeer County resolution is an assault on gay and
lesbian citizens of Michigan and their loved ones, and it helps fuel
anti-gay discrimination that can lead to hate violence."
"This resolution has nothing to do with county governance and everything
to do with marginalizing and discriminating against gay men and lesbians
by propagating lies and dangerous slander," said Jeffrey Montgomery,
executive director of Triangle Foundation, Michigan's gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender advocacy group.
Contrary to claims made in the Lapeer County resolution, many of the
nation's leading child welfare, psychological and children's health
organizations have issued policy or position statements declaring that
gay and lesbian parents are every bit as capable of raising healthy,
happy children as any other couple. The American Psychological
Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the American Bar
Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the North American
Council on Adoptable Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the
American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Family
Physicians and others have affirmed same-sex couples right and ability
Additionally, many of these groups have also condemned discrimination
based on sexual orientation in adoption, custody and other parenting
situations and called for equal rights for all parents and children.
"Gay and lesbian couples who are denied civil marriage licenses in this
country have no access to fundamental rights that most people in this
country take for granted," said Kilbourn. "Gay Americans are patriotic
citizens and tax payers who deserve equal rights and protections under
Same-sex coupled who are denied civil marriage licenses do not have
access to basic rights that most Americans take for granted, including
rights as fundamental as being able to visit a partner in the hospital
and make decisions for them should they be unable to, the ability to
inherit property without a will or tax penalties, and access to social
security survivor benefits.
The Lapeer resolution also cited a biblical reference as a further
reason for denying civil marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.
"No one is trying to alter the religious definition of marriage. This
is about equality under the law. Denying rights and protections to one
group of Americans based on the religious views of some is blatant
discrimination, and is contrary to founding principles of this country,"
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