Thursday, October 26, 2006

Money and politics--really

I've discovered there's a big difference between writing about politics and going about politics. The first big difference is money. The second is risk, but this article is more about the former than the latter.

Writing blog articles is free. I only spend my time, but I get a lot out of the exercise. Campaigning costs both time and money. A single mailing requires time to compose and money for paper, printing, envelopes, mailing lists, and postage.

We need another $2000 to cover the costs of our only mailing--and we need it quickly.

If you've been following the issue and already either oppose the ordinance for your own reasons or agree with mine and can manage to make a contribution of any size, please send your check to:

Ferndale Citizens Say No to Discrimination
P.O. Box 363
Royal Oak, MI 48068-0363

If you're wondering why I oppose this ordinance I urge you to visit our website,, and read the material there.

To conserve some of your time here are some bulleted reasons:
  • The ordinance is unnecessary--the gay community is not discriminated against in Ferndale.
  • It confers special rights--gay persons may threaten legal action against employers and landlords and a non-gay persons can not.
  • It's poorly written--an idea pretending to be as big as civil rights shouldn't require so many words to try and make it palatable.
  • Its poor writing makes mistakes--in its tortuous wording it accidentally exempts private schools from all civil rights legislation.
  • It's unenforceable--Michigan Supreme Court precedent demonstrates local civil rights laws are unconstitutional.
  • It's exploitable by 3rd parties--once on the books other organizations can force cities to extreme actions the cities didn't intend.
  • It's symbolic--the ordinances proponents admit their primary purpose is to send a message.
  • The ballot language is misleading--the ballot language doesn't even mention the new classes of persons that supposedly make this ordinance necessary and broader than state and federal statutes.
  • The appearance of impropriety--the city council tried passing it against voters wishes, told the city's attorney to draft ballot language, then approved the misleading language for their own pet-ordinance.
  • It's a me-too law--law shouldn't be a fashion statement.
  • Enforcing it is not free--proponents want voters to believe enforcing civil rights laws are free, when the state spends $14 million just to hear complaints.
  • It's a distraction--our city, region, and state are suffering a recession, our neighbors are losing jobs, families are moving away, our business tax base is whithering, and our schools perform mildly better than Pontiac's--and we have time for this?
If after reading the ordinance and ballot language you're still in favor of the ordinance, I'd like to hear from you.

If you oppose the ordinance for the same reasons or others and can afford a small donation to help cover mailing expenses, please send us a check.

Whatever your position is, I encourage you to exercise your democratic franchise and vote Tuesday, November 7.


  1. Hello,

    I just read your comments on the Ferndale Human Rights Ordinance, and they are typical of people who oppose this type of ordinance. I don't know why I'm surprised at your comments. They're typical coming from someone tied to the AFA. You speak of a "notch in the belt of special interest." It seems to me that's the same reason you DON'T want this to protect families. Do you think the gays want to run your family out of town? Not at all. Quite the contrary. Diversity is what makes this city great, and it sounds like if you had your way, you'd have nothing but families living in Ferndale. It sounds like you have your own "special interests" at heart. Perhaps you should shelve your homophobia for 5 minutes, and realize that this has nothing to do with hurting families. It's all about making sure we're all treated with equality.

  2. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment.

    However, I think you misunderstood my opposition to the ordinance. You're not alone. On the Vote No article Kim also focused on my comments about families, which I responded to. In my response to Luke in Ferndale I also addressed the family issue. In both responses I emphasized the value families have to the economy, which I seem to have not not communicated well in Ferndale Friends, but perhaps did a better job in my article in favor of same-sex marriages.

    "It's all about making sure we're all treated with equality."

    I thought I had made that point several times, almost ad nauseum, that LGBTs are already treated equally in Ferndale. Even supporters of the ordinance admit it isn't needed, but is merely "unfinished business." Nor do they deny the ordinance is intended to be more symbolic than substantive.