Capitol Pride Strikes a String of Resistance in New Post-Roe Michigan | Michigan News | Detroit

click to enlarge The Michigan Pride rally at the State Capitol in Lansing on June 26, 2022. - ANDREW ROTH / MICHIGAN ADVANCE

Andrew Roth / Michigan Advance

The Michigan Pride rally at the State Capitol in Lansing on June 26, 2022.

The show at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing was as defiant as it was festive, with more than 200 members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community gathered Sunday for a Pride rally marking the seventh anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage.

The event — the first in-person Pride at the Capitol since 2019 — took place in light of renewed right-wing push against LGBTQ+ rights, not seen in years, and on the heels of a Supreme Court ruling Friday marking the landmark day. has fallen over Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights.

For state representative Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), this year’s Pride was a “bittersweet”.

Pohutsky stood on the doorstep to collect signatures for the Reproductive Freedom for All ballot, which seeks to enshrine abortion rights in Michigan. Deposit that the combination of taking Pride back in person and the proliferation of threats against the LGBTQ+ community goes back to the movement’s rebellious roots.

“It was a weird kind of affirmation because honestly, if you look at Pride’s history and roots, I’ve been very privileged,” Pohutsky said, pointing out that she came out at a time when Pride was more festive and LGBTQ+ rights were expanded.

“It’s bittersweet, but also kind of a validating and confirming experience to see it again as a kind of rebellion and pushing back a lot of legislation that we’ve seen lately,” she said.

As many speakers at Sunday’s event noted, Pride began “like a riot” with resistance to a June 28, 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York’s lower Manhattan. Commemorative events that reflected that day in the years that followed morphed into today’s Pride celebrations held in cities across the country during the month of June.

Planned Parenthood had a table by the steps of the Capitol and numerous attendees carried clipboards to promote petitions in support of abortion rights, voting rights and Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Nessel faces Republican attorney Matthew DePerno in her bid for reelection. She is the first openly LGBTQ+ person in Michigan to be elected to statewide office, and she has consistently championed community causes while DePerno has taken anti-LGBTQ+ positions.

Despite the Supreme Court decision on Friday, abortion currently remains legal in Michigan. A 1931 state law making abortion a felony would have taken immediate effect Friday had a court not temporarily halted the law.

Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher granted injunctive relief to block the 1931 ban in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood. Nessel has repeatedly pledged not to enforce the law if and when it comes back into effect.

Nessel has also expressed concern that, with the overthrow of roeFederal protections for same-sex marriage and birth control are also at risk of being destroyed.

Sunday’s meeting was held in the wake of U.S. Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote in his concurring opinion: Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationwho fell Roe v. Wadethat the court should “reconsider” its previous rulings establishing same-sex marriage rights and access to contraception.

The city’s first major LGBTQ+ event welcomed 2,500 Michiganders to the capital on June 25, 1989. Since then, celebrations of pride have increasingly become the mainstay in other Michigan cities such as Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Kalamazoo.

Speakers at Sunday’s event, including a transgender high school sophomore, emphasized the importance of staying true to your identity in the face of adversity.

The LGBTQ+ community faces a coordinated legislative backlash on gay and transgender rights. GOP lawmakers in Michigan and beyond have passed anti-trans laws, equating LGBTQ+ people with pedophiles and more, while refusing to extend protections for community members.

In the GOP-led Michigan legislature, the House chose a Pride Week instead of a Pride Month, while the Senate allowed no Pride resolution at all.

Originally published June 26, 2022 on Michigan Advance. It is shared here with permission. Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters and follow us on Google News, Apple News, TwitterFacebook, Instagram, Reddit or TikTok.

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