We are jubilant and proud that Ann Arbor's Mayor and City Council have adopted an ordinance providing lesbian and gay male couples who are Ann Arbor residents the right to register their domestic partnerships. The unanimous vote in tavor of adopting the ordinance, proposed by Councilwoman Ann Marie Coleman, occurred Tuesday, November 5 after five-hours of testimony by city residents and others. Eighty-four speakers supported adoption of the ordinance and 19 speakers urged Council to reject the second reading of the ordinance. We thank everyone for their support - people who spoke for adoption of the ordinance; people who could not take the risk of testifying publicly but who worked "behind the scènes"; Jayne Miller and Chris McGown for their pioneering efforts; Mayor Brater and Councilpeople Coleman, Hunter, Dodge, Sheldon, Meade, Grady, Zimmer, Ouimet, Eckstein, and Peterson. The unanimous vote sends a message: Ann Arbor continúes to be a welcoming and inclusive community. Thanks. Many members of "the Ann Arbor family" may welcome us, but as we move into the endAjf-year celebrations that mark December we need to be aware of the stress that many lesbians and gay men experience at this time. How many families welcome to their holiday festivities the "significant other" or domestic partner of their lesbian and gay male children? How many families deny their children this moving support? How many families have told their children, "You are no longer a part of us?" How many families refuse even to acknowledge the orientation of their lesbian daughters, gay sons, and bisexual children? Silence renders us invisible and non-existent: Silence equals death. But fortunately, support groups for families with lesbian, gay male, and bisexual children have for many years addressed family concerns with care and compassion. Our local group, Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (P-FLAG Ann Arbor) meets on the third Sunday of the month at 2 pm at Kings Lutheran Church, 2685 Packard just west of Eisenhower. For more information, cali 769-1284, 665-2298, or 227-6564. Gay Liberation Front provides information, counseling, and related social services for people concerned a bout sexual orientation. We maintain a hotl ne forcrisis intervention, peer counseling and referral. We help provide tactual information to offset prejudice and misinformation about lesbians and gay men. We work to obtain human and ei vil rights for all, regardlessof sexual orientation. We help lesbian and gay men's groups organize, and we are a link to other community groups. Community Services include: a Hotline for crisis intervention, peer counseling, referral. Education: workshops and conferences on lesbian and gay male concerns, with an emphasis on how people in the "helping professions" and "teaching professions" can work positively with lesbian and gay male clients, patients, & students. Speakers Bureau: phone for information. Human & Civil Rights: information and referral to help people who are being discriminated against be cause of their actual or presumed sexual orientation or because of their presumed "cross-gender" characteristics; lobbying for human and civil rights. Community Organization and Liaison: information and assistance in organizing groups, setting goals, addressing conflict, linking with other groups and resources. Gay Liberation Front Meetings vary according to purpose; we do most of our work in subcommittees (counseling, groupwork, education, civil rights). Cali for time and place. Gay Liberation includes U-M students, staff, faculty and people from the larger communities. We have a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. We're a registered non-profit organization. Gay Liberation Front, co 41 17 Michigan Union, Ann Arbor, Ml 48109-1349; 763-4186.
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