TC Equality
  | An Investigative Report

 
Vote YesTraverse City Prop 1: The Voters Say Yes by a 2:1 Margin | Send Your Question

Traverse City Votes to Keep Non-Discrimination Ordinance
“The people of Traverse City have sent a clear message that they value their LGBT friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members and don’t want to see them left vulnerable to discrimination,” Carey said. “This victory creates a stronger and more welcoming city not only for LGBT people and their families, but for everyone. We were proud to have partnered with Traverse City Equality in the nation’s only LGBT-specific ballot measure campaign this election. This is a victory for Traverse City and for our common humanity.” The vote caps a nearly year long, often contentious battle by social conservatives convinced they were stopping the gay agenda. The anti-ordinance movement was spearheaded by Jason Gilman, a tea party leader and county commissioner, and Paul Nepote. Nepote ran a Facebook page about the battle.

HOUSE BILL No. 5039
After losing to Traverse City voters who supported our existing Non-Discrimination Ordinance, as well as in 19 Michigan cities and counting, House Republicans, with the encouragment and support of Gary Glenn (AFA, Michigan) now are endevoring to make it illegal for our city and other units of local government to pass or enforce local laws. This is a huge attack on Grass Roots Democracy. HB 5039 reads, "A State agency of unit of local government shall not adopt any ordinance, rule, regulation, or policy that includes as a protected class, any classification not specifically included as a proteced class under this act, any existing ordinance, rule, regulation, or policy that includes, as a protected class, any classification no specifically included as a protected class under this act is void." So folks, the culture war rages on. We are going to need all of the good citizens who supported Proposal 1, to push back against, and stop, this insanity which would limit all local governments in the state of Michigan.


We encourage your questions, and we will do our best to answer them below.


Q: All I've been hearing is that we are voting to support or to oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian people, but after reading the ballot, it appears as if we are voting to either keep, or repeal. the entire Traverse City Non-discrimination Ordinance.

What are we actually voting on?

A: This is a great question, and your assumptions are correct. On the Traverse City ballot, under Proposal 1, you are voting to keep, or repeal, the entire Traverse City Non-Discrimination Ordinance (Chap. 605), which reads:

“No person shall adopt, enforce or employ any policy or requirement which has the effect of creating unequal opportunities according to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, family status, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or gender identity, for a person to obtain housing, employment or public accommodation.”

This is why it is so vital that you Vote YES, on Traverse City Proposal 1 to support fairness and equal opportunity for all—discrimination hurts people and it harms communities. You are voting Yes to keep this already existing Traverse City Ordinance. A Yes vote keeps things as they currently are with no change.

Statistically according to a 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation study, 76% of the general public think that there should be laws to protect gay and lesbian people from job discrimination, 74% from housing discrimination, 73% for inheritance rights, 70% support health and other employee benefits for domestic partners, 68% support social security benefits, and 56% support GL people openly serving in the military. 73% favor sexual orientation being included in the hate crimes statutes.


Q: Don't all honest hard working people deserve the chance to have a job, have food in our belly, and a roof over our heads? I try to vote with my dollars and shop my conscience and values. Who are the people and businesses supporting the campaign to repeal the Traverse City Non-Discrimination Ordinace?

A: Yes, all people deserve equal opportunity and equal protection under the law. Below please find a list of contributors to the anti-equality campaign. The City Clerk will have the most up to date information.

The anti-equality group Treasurers Report for 10/28/11

$3,000
Raymond Dornbusch Espresso Bay Coffee and Juice Island, owner
101 E Bay Ct., TC 49686 (231) 932-9393
$600
American Family Association of Michigan | Gary Glenn, President
P O Box 1904 Midland, MI
$500
James Kelly White O Morn Farms Inc., President
3905 Crystal Drive Beulah MI (231) 882-0285
$500
Matt Schoech co-founder of the anti-equality "no" group
306 W 9th TC 49684 (231) 932-1653
$500
Matt Schoech multiple donations
306 W 9th TC 49684 (231) 932-1653
$300
Arnold Ochs The company website lists Mr. Ochs as a 36% owner/shareholder and a Director on the Board, at Chateau Chantal. We have been informed that he no longer serves as a Director. This information will be updated as soon as current and accurate information becomes available..
12201 Bluff Road TC 49686 (231) 223-7837
$150
Bishop & Heintz Law Firm
440 W Front TC 49684 (231) 941-7126
$106
Matt Schoech multiple donations
306 W 9th TC 49684 (231) 932-1653
$100
Kenneth Kleinrichert Associate Broker, with Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors
1235 Lake Dr., TC 49685 (231) 941-1126
$100
Martha Ahluwalia The sister of "no" campaign co-founder Mike Mulcahy
718 Washington TC 49686 (231) 941-9373
$100
Gary Roush Colonial Square Construction
"No" Campaign Treasurer
176 Highview Rd TC 49696 (231) 946-4537
$100
Matt Schoech multiple donations
306 W 9th TC 49684 (231) 932-1653
$100
William Marsh, Jr. Bill Marsh Auto Group
8349 S Center Hwy 633 TC 49684 (231) 941-1938
$99
George J Galic Traverse Area District Library Trustee
1302 Peninsula Dr., TC 49686 (231) 933-8017
$99
Mary Ann Galic
1302 Peninsula Dr., TC 49686 (231) 933-8017
$50
Douglas Bishop Lawyer
288 Knollwood TC 49686 (231) 941-7126
$35
Larry Holtsclaw
649 Peninsula Trail TC 49696 (231) 941-0036
$20
David Mulcahy
303 Elmwood Dr., St Charles, MO 63301 (636) 724-5154)

Please email us with corrections and/or additions at mail@TCequality.com. Voters deserve the most accurate, up to date, and comprehensive information possible in order to make intelligent informed decisions.


Q: Recently I received a Robocall claiming that gays were seeking "special rights" in Traverse City. I'm confused. Can you explain what they mean when they use the term "special rights?"

A: "Special Rights" is a made-up term currently popular within the anti-equality movement who argue against protecting gays’ basic civil rights. While this made-up term may be rhetorically powerful and sounds convincing, it's actually hypocritical. Why do anti-gay groups (that often also refer to themselves as good God fearing Christians) favor restrictions on gays which they would never accept for themselves? Some go so far as to assert a “religious right” to refuse to provide the same medical treatment to gays as they do to heterosexuals. It’s arguable that the point of this is the preservation of heterosexual privilege. READ MORE

When interracial couples fought for the right to marry each other, were they asking for equal rights or special rights? They wanted the same rights as other couples, but anti-equality groups insisted they really wanted special rights. After all, no one was allowed to marry members of another race, so all were treated equally. Right? It is a profound insult to tell people that their desire to enjoy the same basic rights as other Americans is really a desire to have “special” rights unavailable to others. It’s possible that some Christians do consider housing, jobs, and medical care to be “unusual demands” — at least, when it comes to gays. Homosexuals, in their mind, don’t deserve the ability to hold a job, to buy food, or to find shelter like other citizens.

The Civil Rights Act successfully argues that “Equal Rights” are not Special. READ


Q: Is homosexuality a choice, or can it be cured.

A: It is unlikely that opposing groups of people will reach a consensus when it comes to their response to this question, but all of the leading psychological and medical associations have published statements indicating that they believe homosexuality is something that is natural and normal; not a choice, and that attempts to cure homosexuality cause risk and harm to these individuals. Bigotry and intolerance on the other hand are most definitely choices, as are religion and politics. MORE INFORMATION HERE


Q: I have received an email indicating that our non-discrimination ordinance may cost employers thousands of dollars if charges of discrimination are brought against them.

A: This claim by the anti-equality campaign is not true. The ordinance reads, "in section 605.14 PENALTIES. (a). A violation of any provision of this ordinance is a municipal civil infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00. READ ORDINANCE


Q: So am I to understand that the Traverse City Non-Discrimination Ordinance is written to protect equal opportunity for all citizens?

A: Yes. The ordinance clearly states in section, "605.08 [that] No person shall adopt, enforce or employ any policy or requirement which has the effect of creating unequal opportunities according to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, family status, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or gender identify, for a person to obtain housing, employment or public accommodation, except for a bona fide business necessity. Such a bona fide business necessity does not arise due to a mere inconvenience or because of suspected or actual objection to such a person by neighbors, customers, or other persons but shall require a demonstration that the policy or requirement is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the person's business. (Ord. 882. Passed 10-4-10.) READ ORDINANCE


Q: Can I fire or not hire an employee for reasons other than perceived or real characteristics?

A: Yes. Any employee who fails to meet an employers expectation for his/her employees may be terminated or not hired, in the same manner as business was conducted before the Ordinance was enacted. For example, if an employee is chronically late for work, or fails to perform at the level that all employees are expected to achieve, an employee may be fired or not hired.

The pro-discrimination group has said it is defending business owners who might find it impossible under the ordinance to fire someone if he or she is gay. That’s just not so, but it’s a staple of the pro-fear, pro-discrimination campaign. In reality, bad employees who happen to be gay can be fired just as easily as anyone else. TRAVERSE CITY RECORD EAGLE


Q: How much has the Traverse City Ordinance cost our city or employers within the city since it became law well over a year ago?

A: Absolutely nothing. There have been no complaints or charges of discrimination brought against employers or against the city. The Ordinance is working precisely as it was intended, to protect individuals seeking employment and accommodations from being treated unequally.

 




Support
 

In Support of the Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance
City of Traverse City

FacebookOctober 04, 2010—At the regular City Commission meeting Mary Van Valin grew emotional as she stood at a podium to address the Traverse City Commission. "I have a dream that this community will stand on the side of love, not fear," Valin said Monday night.

Van Valin got her wish when the City Commissioners unanimously approved the Equal Opportunity Ordinance.

Equal Opportunity for the residents of Traverse City will be decided at the ballot box on November 8, 2011. Please vote.

READ MORE>>>

 

Oppose
 

Opposing the Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance
Paul Nepote, et all

October 05, 2010—Paul Nepote filed notice of a Referendum Petition that he circulated for signatures, which reads: We, the undersigned registered voters of the City of Traverse City, under and by virtue of the authority granted by Chapter XV of the Traverse City Charter, do hereby protest against the following ordinance taking effect and petition your submission of said ordinance to the registered voters of the City of Traverse City, County of Grand Traverse, State of Michigan.

READ MORE >>

     
   

Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance

No person shall adopt, enforce or employ any policy or requirement which has the effect of creating unequal opportunities according to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, family status, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or gender identity, for a person to obtain housing, employment or public accommodation.

Equal Opportunity for the residents of Traverse City will be decided at the ballot box on November 8, 2011. Please vote.

READ MORE >>

     
   

Protect Liberty and Justice for All

October 06, 2010—The “TC Equality” group and this web site came into being more than a year ago for the purpose of preserving and protecting equal opportunity and equal protection in Traverse City. We appreciate your assistance.

Please share your time and resources freely. Help support the cost of protecting and preserving equal opportunity in our community. Every dollar you are able to contribute, and any time you are able to donate is deeply appreciated.


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