LGBT Discrimination in Sterling Heights on the Ethnic Community Committee
Many times during the debate over the LGBT protection ordinance in Sterling Heights we heard “there is no discrimination against gays in Sterling Heights.”
I have been recently been made aware that not only is discrimination against gays happening in Sterling Heights, it’s happening on one of the citizen boards sponsored by the city.
Mayor Pro Tem Michael C. Taylor writes:
From: Michael C. Taylor <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 9:58 AM
Subject: FW: How do I make a difference?
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
See below. I spoke with Dr. Steve today and he confirmed everything Julie said.
Michael C. Taylor
Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Tem
From: Julie Bondy
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:19 PM
To: Doug Skrzyniarz; Michael C. Taylor
Subject: How do I make a difference?
Dr. Steve Naumovski from the Ethnic Community Committee called me today to welcome me and ask how I am part of the committee. I told him that I have Italian citizenship but I represent the LGBT Community here in SH. He told me because of all the religious people represented in the committee that we won’t speak about any LGBT issues because it is too controversial and the don’t ask don’t tell works well with the Army. (emphasis added)
I am not here to wave a rainbow flag, but what is my exact role in this committee? How can I contribute if I can’t talk about inclusion or any issues? Am I going to stir the pot when I get there? How do you see me making a difference?
I know what I would like to see come of this, and know how to do it diplimatically, but I would like to know what you two want from me?
Julie A. Bondy
<personal information redacted>
I have briefly met Ms. Bondy in person. She is a well spoken, educated, professional woman who is active in the Sterling Heights community. She also happens to be gay.
It should come as no surprise that there is a gay viewpoint on public matters in Sterling Heights. If even 1/2 of 1% of our population is gay, that means we have 650 people living in this city who have that perspective.
If we were to tell 650 Italian people that their voice would not be heard, it would be an outrage and the next City Council meeting would be crowded out onto Utica Road.
If we were to tell 650 Chaldean people that their voice would not be heard, there would be marches on Ryan Road similar to the ISIS protest.
If we were to tell 650 African-American people that their voice would not be heard, the Revs Sharpton and Jackson would catch the first flight to DTW and organize a protest likely involving tens of thousands of people.
Somehow, though, it is perfectly acceptable for Dr. Steve Naumovski to tell an appointed member of the Ethnic Community Committee that she cannot speak on LGBT issues.
This is wrong. It is immoral. And, without the LGBT ordinance, it is completely legal.
Dr. Steve Naumovski should either reverse his decision or resign, immediately. If he fails to do either one, City Council should have him removed at the next meeting.
What we should do
If you support the LGBT ordinance, you should make an appearance at the next City Council meeting and say so. That meeting will take place in less than one week on October 7 at 7:30PM, City Council Chambers, 40555 Utica Road, Sterling Heights, MI.
The ordinance is technically suspended. It can either be repealed, or it can be put to a vote by the public. It needs to go to a vote by the public.
I would also strongly encourage you to sound off publicly on this issue. Call your City Counselors today and implore them to support moving the LGBT ordinance to a vote by the public at the earliest possible date:
Mayor Pro Tem Michael C. Taylor
Councilwoman Deanna Koski
Councilman Joseph V. Romano
Councilwoman Maria G. Schmidt
Councilman Doug Skrzyniarz
Councilwoman Barbara A. Ziarko