Tuesday, October 28, 2008ANN ARBOR, MI – As a sign of tremendous grassroots support, hundreds of citizens representing various religious faiths and businesses gathered at the Knights of Columbus Hall in the small community of Hamtramck, Michigan, to listen to speakers denounce an ordinance enacted by their city council in June of this year, which gives special rights to homosexuals and so-called "transgendered" individuals. The rally, sponsored by "Hamtramck Citizens Voting No to 'Special Rights' Discrimination, " took place on October 12th.
The challenged ordinance makes it legal for men who perceive themselves as women to use women's bathrooms in any school, business, or public facility. In classic Orwellian doublespeak, the ordinance defines such behavior as "Natural Rights of Hamtramck Residents." Under the ordinance, any attempt to prevent such activity would subject the person to investigations, criminal prosecution, civil litigation, and fines of potentially five hundred dollars per day.
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, represents the citizens group.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center stated, "According to the ordinance passed by the city council, people of faith who oppose homosexuality and transgenderism will be in danger of prosecution. Radical homosexual activists are now importing Canadian-type laws which are used to prosecute religious leaders who speak out against homosexuality and transgenderism. Canada has used laws similar to Hamtramck's to bully and prosecute Catholic priest Father Alphonse de Valk and Protestant youth pastor Stephen Boissoin, for merely proclaiming the objective truths of their faith regarding homosexuality."
Thompson continued, "Hamtramck's draconian provisions for investigation, prosecution, and civil actions with treble damages and attorney's fees to force businesses, schools, and religions to accept this bizarre behavior would make any totalitarian regime envious."
Brian Rooney, a lawyer with the Thomas More Law Center, as well as nearly a dozen community religious leaders urged a "No" vote on November 4th in order to overturn the divisive anti-religious ordinance.
Speakers not only emphasized the anti-religious aspects of the ordinance, but also listed their public safety concerns with potential abuse by men who claim they are women.
At a rally and press conference held in front of the Hamtramck City Hall on July 29th of this year, leaders of the petition drive to overturn the ordinance announced that over a thousand signatures were gathered, more than twice the amount needed to place the initiative on the ballot.
Some of the more disturbing aspects of the ordinance include:
- Excessive entanglement by the city in internal aspects of religious organizations.
- Men being allowed to use women's restroom facilities and other facilities specifically designated for women.
- To even question men on the propriety of them using the women's facilities — whether dressed as a women or not — could be grounds for a discrimination complaint, $500 fine for each day this occurs, and a civil lawsuit.
- Men dressed as women teaching your grade school children.
- Civil litigation to force businesses, schools, and even religions to conform and accept these deviant lifestyle choices.
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.