Veronica Kirin

Feb 14, 2018

Local author and entrepreneur Veronica Kirin joins us this morning to talk about her business. 

Mariano Avila / WGVU

  A group of Hope College students identifying as LGBT and People of Color started a campaign to amplify 95 stories of discrimination and disrespect on campus. 

Joshua Kam is generally well regarded by faculty and peers, when I meet him on Hope’s campus, he exudes politeness as he tells me why he stepped out of the choir formation on Sunday to disrupt his third and final Vespers concert as means to promote of his 95 Stories campaign.

LGBT group asks Michigan commission for legal protections

Aug 14, 2017

An LGBTQ rights group has asked the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to interpret a current prohibition on sex discrimination to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The commission seeks public feedback through Tuesday as it prepares to deal with a request from Equality Michigan, which cited recent federal court cases that had concluded the word "sex" applies to both gender and biological differences that distinguish men from women.

Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 /

The State Board of Education voted Wednesday to adopt voluntary guidelines to help schools with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.

The policies are intended to help schools create a safe and supportive learning environment for LGBTQ individuals.

The guidance was voted on after more than three hours of public comment.

Approximately 60 people were given three minutes to share their thoughts on the issue. Commenters ranged from school principals and students to state legislators and medical professionals.

school lockers
Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 /

Michigan's education board is set to vote on guidance to schools on creating an inclusive environment for LGBT students.

The guidelines are voluntary but have spurred criticism from conservative lawmakers, particularly over restroom and bathroom policies for transgender students.

The State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the guidance Wednesday, after receiving more than 13,000 public comments.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined a lawsuit filed by 10 states challenging a federal rule that says schools must respect the self-declared gender identity of students.

That includes allowing transgender students to choose which restrooms and locker rooms they will use.

Andrea Bitely is the attorney general’s press secretary. She says the rule ignores the wishes of parents of transgender students, as well as schools and Congress, which never adopted a law.  

Ludovic Bertron | Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

The city of Portage has approved an ordinance designed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.

WWMT-TV reports the City Council for the Kalamazoo County community voted on Tuesday night to approve the ordinance following a public hearing.

The ordinance was proposed by the Human Services Board and is geared at preventing discrimination in housing, employment and public services.

The city of Kalamazoo and several other Michigan communities have adopted similar non-discrimination ordinances. / Grand Rapids Pride Center

National performers join a jam-packed lineup at this weekend’s Grand Rapids Pride Festival.

"Not only are we offering everything that you have at a Pride – great music and vendors and food and community – but an opportunity to bring in some national talent, and really give the people of Grand Rapids and our community a quality concert."

Larry DeShane is the operations manager for the Grand Rapids Pride Center, which organizes the event. And he says this year’s festival is bigger and better than ever. | CC BY 2.0

Local interfaith services pay tribute Wednesday night to the victims of last weekend’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. 

“This was a very targeted attack, specifically against LGBTQ people.”

That’s Larry DeShane with the Grand Rapids Pride Center. 

"There’s 10 or 11 different religious, spiritual institutions that will be represented there.

"And that’s a great opportunity for the community – all the community, the human community – to come together and celebrate and pay tribute to the people we lost. And the people we lose every day."

Ludovic Bertron | Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

Police in western Michigan plan a more visible presence for the upcoming Grand Rapids Pride Festival following last weekend's massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the city's police department will increase patrols and put a mobile command center near Saturday's festival street fair, which takes place on and around downtown's Calder Plaza.

A block party is planned on Sunday.

Police department spokesman Terry Dixon says people will see "a considerable police presence compared to last year" as a precaution.