(C. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, June 8, 2012)
Eight of the nine Democrats plus two Republicans signed a proclamation recognizing Gay Pride in Ferndale, which was presented at the June 7, 2012 Oakland County Board of Commissioner’s meeting.
The proclamation, nicely set in a plaque bearing the ten signatures, was presented to long-time Ferndale volunteer Dennis Hoeppner who considers himself an ally of all people including LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) individuals.
The proclamation comes just weeks after Ferndale City Council approved declaring June to be LGBT Pride Month in the City, and just a week before the Annual Ferndale Pride Festival which is in its second year.
County Commissioner Craig Covey, who represents the 25th District, spearheaded the effort of gathering signatures from fellow Commissioners, and at the Thursday morning meeting he led the presentation along with Commissioner Jim Nash (who will be leaving the Commission at the end of the year but is running for Water Resource Director for the entire County), Commissioner Janet Jackson, and Commissioner Helaine Zack (who will be running against Covey in the primary in August thanks to newly-drawn districts).
“This County is proud of our American Heritage that accepts and welcomes diverse people,” stated the proclamation. “And we believe that as a society we treat people on the basis of their intrinsic value as human beings, without prejudice and discrimination based on age, gender, race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation and physical challenges.” It recognizes the weekend of June 15-17th Gay Pride Weekend in Ferndale and Oakland County.
Republican Beth Nuccio who represents Townships of Addison, Brandon, Groveland and Oxford and Republican William Dwyer who serves City of Farmington Hills and Farmington crossed the aisle to sign the proclamation.
Democrat Mattie Hatchett of Pontiac is the only Democrat to decline. “Number one is its religious,” said Hatchett. “I am a Missionary Baptist and my beliefs are based on the Bible. I really struggle with it, but I have to put my belief in the Bible first. Number two, as far as other humans rights go I’m the first to stand up and make sure people can make their personal decisions. But if they decided as far as having a partner or whatever it’s their decision. If I see someone try to bother him or anyone else, if they try to step on anyone in terms of civil rights, I will defend them. But for me personally it’s against my religious beliefs and I cannot support that.”
Covey said the plaque will be presented at Ferndale Pride, and he invited fellow Commissioners and others to come out to the event which takes place June 14- 17 in Downtown Ferndale. There will be a Light the Night Walk, a Rainbow Run, a Dyke March, a Marketplace and plenty of entertainment and other events. For all the details go to www.ferndalepride.com.