Nessel blasts GOP for shutting down Pride Month resolution

By: - June 16, 2022 11:32 am

Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks at the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ 2022 Civil Rights Summit. | Kyle Davidson

During the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ 2022 Civil Rights Summit Wednesday, Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel criticized the GOP-led Senate for not passing a Pride Month resolution this week.

Senate Resolution 149, sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), the first openly gay senator in Michigan, was referred to the Government Operations Committee on Tuesday. From there, it will likely not get any action, even though an identical resolution passed last year. 

GOP-led Michigan Senate again derails LGBTQ+ Pride resolution

“I just don’t know what’s going on in our country. I don’t know what’s going on in our state,” said Nessel during the summit. “And to echo some of the words of Sen. Jeremy Moss yesterday, if anyone caught him in yet another one of his tirades against discrimination in the state Senate, I am so tired of having prominent members of our state government create wedges that don’t help us, that don’t heal us, but divide us. And that’s all they do.”

Nessel said Republicans in the Legislature have been more focused on condemning drag queens, stalling on gun reform bills and spreading misinformation about inclusive curriculums. 

Republicans have fueled cultural flashpoints like critical race theory, a college-level theory that examines the systemic effects of white supremacy in America, which almost no Michigan’s K-12 schools teach the concept. 

More recently, far-right national figures have targeted drag queens, falsely claiming that they are “child predators.” In Michigan, Republicans have said curriculums that include education on LGBTQ+ people and identities are predatory and “grooming” young children. 

xI know what’s not a problem for kids who are seeking a good education: drag queens. … I am just so sick and tired of having marginalized minority members of our communities in our state be used as target practice, instead of us all coming together and understanding that we need to take all communities in our state and lift them up, not tear them down.

“Let me say this, critical race theory is something that I’ve never heard of before just recently. And I can tell you, as having two kids that went all the way through the public school system, they never heard of it either,” Nessel said. “I know what’s not a problem for kids who are seeking a good education: drag queens. … I am just so sick and tired of having marginalized minority members of our communities in our state be used as target practice, instead of us all coming together and understanding that we need to take all communities in our state and lift them up, not tear them down.”

I know what's not a problem for kids who are seeking a good education: drag queens. … I am just so sick and tired of having marginalized minority members of our communities in our state be used as target practice, instead of us all coming together and understanding that we need to take all communities in our state and lift them up, not tear them down.

– Attorney General Dana Nessel

Nessel also spoke to the audience about improving the education system and students’ constitutional right to a quality education, while also improving mental and behavioral health support in schools. 

She urged more schools to implement restorative justice practices that “that emphasizes repairing the harm to the victim and the school community caused by the pupils’ misconduct, instead of suspension and … expulsion.”

“When you’re talking about these positive behavioral practices, they make schools safer. And of course, they reduce the disparate impact on black students, Hispanic students, AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] students indigenous, disabled, LGBTQ+ kids, all of them,” Nessel said. “We need more social workers, we need more psychologists, we need more therapists and we need a lot more understanding. Also, less guns.”

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.

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