also: Lascari: My Marriage is a Non-issue in Midland
Let me get this queer: in Indiana, the GOP-controlled House and Senate, along with the GOP governor, Mike Pence, have decided that religious “freedom” means telling The Gays you don’t want their business. Sick, that, but in Michigan one GOP State Representative, Gary Glenn, doesn’t even want a gay man to get a new job.
See, Glenn has issued an "Agenda Alert" all over social media in response to news that his hometown newspaper, Midland Daily News, has :::gasp::: appointed Tony Lascari, an openly gay man, to the position of news editor.
Most folks think, and I tend to agree, that Glenn’s use of the phrase “Agenda Alert” is in direct reference to a supposed “Homosexual Agenda” that, except for the idea of full equality under the law, doesn’t really exist. But Glenn insists that the community has a right to hold the newspaper accountable and to question anything that could influence how they "represent our community's values" because, you know, the values of The Gays are in direct contradiction to the values of Glenn and his ick, er, ilk:
"I posted the paper's own report — without comment or criticism — except to alert readers to the reasonably observed possibility that this new position might be used to promote a political agenda or bias that's at odds with our community's values." — Gary Glenn
Tony Lascari, for his part, has said he has not been contacted by Glenn, though he’s seen Glenn’s “alert” on social media:
"I am aware that Michigan Rep. Glenn has issued an 'agenda alert' on Facebook and Twitter to let his supporters know about my marital status. I welcome him to contact me to speak about any topic at any time. In my new role as news editor at the Midland Daily News I look forward to helping my team produce quality stories that are accurate, interesting and important."
Isn’t it funny … though, really, it’s not … that the gay man wants to sit and talk to the bigot, but the bigot just wants the gay man not to have that job? But Gary Glenn, who believes that Tony Lascari might turn the paper gay, issued this Tweet:
The sad/funny/stupid thing is that if you follow that link, it takes you back to the Midlands Daily News article announcing Lascari’s appointment, along with all of his qualifications for the job and, there, right there near the very end of the piece, you learn that Tony Lascari lives in Midland with his husband Mark, and there you have the ALLEGED agenda.
Glenn likes to point out that in 2004, Midland County "voted overwhelmingly in favor" of the statewide proposal amending the Michigan Constitution to define marriage as between "one man and one woman" only and so the idea that a gay man, a gay married man, be allowed to have a job in that county is, well, it’s just too much. And because of that, Glenn says, he can question how the sexual orientation of a newspaper editor relates to the community's values.
"When it comes to holding people in positions of public influence accountable, the more public awareness, the better," he said.
Tony Lascari, however, published a column in the Midland Daily News, in response to Gary Glenn:
“As a professional news reporter, I have always worked to keep my articles balanced and accurate as I report on people in our community, no matter their views. I respect people’s right to hold their beliefs and to share them as they see fit. If Glenn wants to post alerts about me, that’s fine. But, I don’t see why having a political science major and a husband are an issue. No one else in Midland has ever brought up my marriage as a concern to me. Nearly 200 of our friends, family and coworkers joined me and Mark at our reception at a Midland hotel, with a cake from a Midland bakery and flowers from a Midland florist. I live a pretty average life in this community, and have for 10 years. I work hard and am involved in the community, as is the Midland tradition. I don’t think my marriage is worthy of an ‘Agenda Alert.’”
And let’s look again and see who really has The Agenda:
Gary Glenn is a Republican, and we know that most of the GOP is not at all gay-friendly, or marriage equality friendly.
Gary Glenn also serves as president of the American Family Association of Michigan; the AFA is a conservative religious organization that opposes the so-called "homosexual agenda."
Gary Glenn is also one of two co-authors of Michigan's Marriage Protection Amendment, which in 2004 enshrined a ban on same-sex marriage in the state's constitution.
Gary Glenn frequently voices his opposition to same-sex marriage and has stood against attempts to add sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in anti-discrimination laws and policies across the state.
It doesn’t seem like Tony Lascari has an agenda, unless it’s to be a good newspaper editor, while Gary Glenn seems to work overtime being a bigot and a homophobe … with a Hate Agenda.
Consider yourselves alerted.