FERNDALE (WWJ) – Members of Michigan’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community have launched a 100-day hunger strike leading up to the November elections.

Strikers will spend 24 hours each in the front window of the Affirmations community center on 9 Mile Road in Ferndale. That’s where the first hunger striker, Affirmations Executive Director Dave Garcia, spoke with WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting five hours into his fast.

“Michigan has embarrassingly become the Mississippi of the civil rights movement when it comes to gay equality,” said Garcia.

“And what I mean by that is in the state of Michigan we cannot marry, we cannot even have civil unions, the gay community cannot adopt jointly, the gay community can still be fired for being gay or being perceived to be gay in the workplace, we can still be denied public accommodation and housing,” he said.

Garcia said efforts continue in our state to further deny rights to the LGBT community.

“You know, right now they’re trying to pass a bill so that mental health professionals don’t have to treat LGBT people,” said Garcia. “Right now they’re trying to pass a bill that would overturn all local ordinances throughout the state that have been passed by the voters to protect LGBT people in housing and in the workplace.”

As of Monday, more than 30 people had signed up to take part in the strike.

Garcia is urging those who believe everyone deserves to have their basic civil rights protected to contact their local representatives.


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