One Week Left To Make Your Decision 2011

Nov 1, 2011 Full story:

One week from today, three school board members, one mayor and seven city councilmembers will be elected in Rochester and Rochester Hills.

Full Story
Timothy Maurer

Rochester, MI

#1 Nov 3, 2011
Dear Editor,
On Tuesday, October 25th, there was a rally at a local restaurant for School Board Candidate Jeremy Nielson. Representative Tom McMillin, who has endorsed Jeremy's candidacy for Rochester Community Schools board of education, spoke to a small group of people urging them to support his candidate, Jeremy Nielson.

20 days prior to this event, state Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills introduced
House Bill No. 5039. This bill would would prohibit state agencies and units of local government – such as cities, townships, counties, school districts, and public and community colleges – from adopting any ordinance or policy that includes, as a protected class, any classification not included in the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Any classifications within in current ordinances or policies would be null and void.

Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 prohibits discrimination based on “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.” The Elliott-Larsen act does not specifically protect people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, etc. Many state public institutions and municipalities have protections for those of alternative sexual orientations. With a quick google search of Tom McMillin, one can easily surmise that this isn't his first rodeo when it comes to attacking the gay community.

I am troubled by the introduction of this legislation and even more troubled that it is being introduced by the State Rep who represents the community of Rochester Hills, MI. Michigan has always been the state that people have moved to for opportunity and to avoid discrimination. Why wouldn't we want to allow individual communities and public institutions to provide additional protections to citizens who are more vulnerable to discrimination? Does this community want to be associated with the introduction of this type of legislation?
These were just some of my thoughts as I enjoyed a Shiner Boch as Tom and Jeremy gave their speeches in the back room of the restaurant.

For the vulnerable and families of the vulnerable in our community, I hope that our local leaders and aspiring local leaders like Jeremy Nielson will closely examine and question their political relationships with those who introduce and support legislation like House Bill No. 5039. If a municipality or public institution cannot protect those who need it the most, are we really moving forward as a community?
Tim Maurer. Rochester Hills, MI

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