Michigan Equality Board of Directors Congratulates Lansing Michigan on Passing the Human Rights Ordinance

Michigan Equality’s Board of Directors, the state’s largest member-based LGBT organization, proudly applauds the City of Lansing on the passage of the Lansing Human Rights ordinance.

“The time has come for Lansing to stand up and take its rightful place as a leader for Civil Rights in the region,” says Derek Smiertka, Executive Director for Michigan Equality. “Our 37,000 members were excited to see the City of Ferndale voters overwhelmingly pass a similar measure this year, we are ecstatic that the City of Lansing has done the same through their council.”

Recognizing the need for basic civil protections for all residents, Michigan Equality is proud to stand by other local organizations to defend the freedom of all Lansing citizens. Doug Meeks, President of Michigan Equality adds “freedom for a select few is not what this country was founded on.” Meeks adds, “All citizens in Lansing and throughout the state of Michigan have a right not to be discriminated against; Michigan Equality is prepared to stand with the Lansing City Counsel and other local organizations fighting to ensure equality for all citizens in Lansing.”

About Michigan Equality
Michigan Equality is a statewide organization dedicated to building and using political power to promote equality and eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Michigan Equality’s Goals for 2007

1. Amend Michigan’s Civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

2. Support full funding for HIV/AIDS drug assistance programs in Michigan

3. Support legislation to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Hate Crimes law in Michigan, which currently covers race, religion, gender and national origin.

4. Support legislation to clarify Michigan’s adoption law and allow co-parent and second parent adoptions by unmarried couples, including same-sex couples.

5. Support comprehensive sex education in schools that goes beyond abstinence only and recognizes the need of all youth, regardless or their sexual orientation or gender identity.

6. Support legislation and policies that strive to make schools safer for all youth, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Michigan Equality Hires New Executive Director
On Michigan Equality is pleased to announce Derek Smiertka as the new Executive Director of Michigan Equality. Smiertka will oversee the every day operations as well as report directly to the President of Michigan Equality on staffing and fund development.

Smiertka comes to Michigan Equality with many years of political experience. Throughout his career, he has been at the forefront of spotlighted political campaigns and has overseen the development, planning, and implementation of advertising and media campaigns for several state and local legislative officeholders and political parties.

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