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Forty-four years ago, the City of East Lansing was the first community in the United States to offer its gay citizens civil rights protection under law. But strangely enough, this progressive city has never been home to a gay bar.
About sixty people gathered at 8 p.m. tonight at “the rock” near the MSU Auditorium to pay tribute to those murdered at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early this morning in the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Dee Hurlbert, the Director of MSU’s Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Resource Center, told the people gathered that she appreciated “the gift of coming together with total strangers” at a time like this.
The East Lansing Board of Education Monday unanimously approved sending a letter to the State Board of Education supporting its proposed guidelines for protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning students (LGBTQ).
Above: Lauren Brown, Lindsey Wren, and Pastor Nicolette Siragusa at the Ingham County Courthouse today.
Lauren Brown and Lindsey Wren, residents of East Lansing’s Pinecrest neighborhood, were at the Ingham County Courthouse today within two hours of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-gender marriage nationwide. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum told us she was committed to staying as late as necessary to make sure any couples wishing to marry today can do so.
East Lansing High School’s Students for Gender Equality Club was created in May of 2014, when its co-presidents Brianna Wells, Aiden Foster-Fishman, Sarah Hansen, and Sara Faverman, identified what they believed to be clear gender biases within a cyber safety presentation given by the High School. “We then decided to create a club to combat these and bring awareness to the school,” says Co-President Hansen.
Image: Melissa Sortman (left) and Terry Scharf on the newly-painted steps at Valley Court Park
Visitors to this year’s East Lansing Farmers’ Market in Valley Court (opening June 7) will see a new art feature just north of the market. The steps running from Valley Court’s glacial washout plain up to the Oakwood Neighborhood have been painted rainbow colors under a project led by Melissa Sortman and Terry Scharf.
Ahh, Valentine’s Day. Everyone has a different opinion about the holiday. Some love it because they’ve celebrated it with their significant other for years. Other despise it because they’ve never had a valentine or have a terrible memory of the day. Some may have a significant other, but find the holiday exhausting with too many expectations.
No matter their views towards the love-themed day, we can all agree Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest holidays of the year.
In 2010 our nation was plagued with a rash of teen suicides in the LGBTQ community. At the time, Krista Rowe was a student on the MSU campus who saw the need to build a faith community among her LGBTQ friends on campus. Rev. Jenn Tafel volunteered to offer clergy support, and Queer Christians Reclaiming Our Sexuality and Spirituality (“QCROSS”) was born at MSU that fall as a response to the tragedy.
On Tuesday, September 16, the East Lansing City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Michigan Legislature “to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity without further delay.”