Civil Rights

AG asked to review migrant farm worker pay

BY: - March 27, 2019

Updated, 5:48 p.m. with comments from Arbulu, Scholten, LARA and the Farm Bureau. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to reconsider whether Michigan’s smallest farms can legally pay migrant farm workers less than minimum wage. The request comes after former Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a 2017 legal opinion arguing […]

2 Michigan Republicans join failed override of Trump’s emergency declaration veto

BY: - March 26, 2019

The U.S. House on Tuesday wasn’t able to muster the necessary two-thirds majority to override President Donald Trump’s first veto. Congress had previously rejected the president’s emergency declaration to build a wall on the southern border. The resolution went down 248-181, with nine members of Michigan’s 14-member congressional delegation voting for it. That included all […]

Kamala Harris to keynote Detroit NAACP dinner

BY: - March 26, 2019

Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will headline an event for the Detroit branch of the NAACP on May 5. The Detroit News first reported that Harris will speak at the 64th annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner at Cobo Hall. “It is an accomplishment to have her come,” NAACP President the Rev. Wendell Anthony […]

Hammoud says foe’s criticism of his alcohol-limit bill rooted in Islamophobia

BY: - March 25, 2019

State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud’s bill package lowering Michigan’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold has drawn sharp criticism from a Democratic political foe. Brian Stone claims Hammoud is “legislating his personal preferences.” The lawmaker has fired back that he welcomes criticism, but not that which is rooted in Islamophobia.   HB 4420 and HB 4421, sponsored […]

2020 organizing effort in Detroit looks to attract college Dems

BY: - March 24, 2019

The Michigan Democratic Party is recruiting college juniors to work this summer in Detroit to become field organizers for the 2020 presidential election. The program, which is called Organizing Corps 2020, is a national project created, in part, by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). It will be carried out in 10 other cities: Atlanta; Charlotte; […]

DeVos under fire from Michigan Dems over school sexual assault policy

BY: - March 23, 2019

WASHINGTON — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing intense criticism from congressional Democrats and advocacy groups as she prepares to overhaul how schools handle sexual assault allegations. The forthcoming final rule — expected in the coming months — stands to be one of the most controversial moves of her tenure as education secretary. DeVos […]

Nessel says same-sex adoption settlement is ‘airtight,’ talks Michigan marriage equality 5-year anniversary

BY: - March 22, 2019

Before she was attorney general, Dana Nessel was the lead attorney on a case challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex adoption. She represented Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer in a suit against the state, DeBoer v. Snyder, which blossomed into a challenge of the “underlying issue” of Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. On March 21, 2014, […]


Nessel settles Michigan same-sex adoption lawsuit

BY: - March 22, 2019

Updated, 4:54 p.m. with comments from Mike Shirkey and Sam Bagenstos Attorney General Dana Nessel settled Friday with the plaintiffs in a 2017 lawsuit claiming illegal discrimination against a same-sex couple who were denied the opportunity to adopt. Under the terms of the settlement in Dumont v. Lyon, the Michigan Department of Health and Human […]

Barb Byrum married Michigan’s first same-sex couple. Now she looks to the LGBTQ fights ahead.

BY: - March 22, 2019

Five years ago to the day, Barb Byrum performed the first same-sex marriage in Michigan. Before March 22, 2014, she was best known for a scandal that made international news and was dubbed “Vaginagate.” That was back in June 2012 when she was a Democratic state representative. The GOP House leadership was pushing a suite […]

March 22, 2014: When marriage equality first (briefly) ruled in Michigan

BY: - March 22, 2019

For roughly five hours on March 22, 2014, same-sex couples in Michigan were, at long last, able to tie the knot. U.S. District Judge Bernard Judge Friedman issued his ruling in DeBoer v. Snyder after 5 p.m. on March 21 — quite the Friday night news dump. Gay marriage had formally been banned in Michigan […]


Column: We need more teachers of color, so why do we use tests that keep them out of the classroom?

BY: - March 21, 2019

Students of color seldom see teachers who look like them. This is because many aspiring teachers of color are pushed out of the profession before they have a chance to start. It’s not poor performance in college courses or teaching internships that take the biggest toll. It is the standardized tests aspiring teachers must pass […]

On this day in 2014: Same-sex marriage is legalized in Michigan

BY: - March 21, 2019

U.S. District Judge Bernard Judge Friedman on March 21, 2014, issued a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Michigan. In 2004, Michigan voters OK’d a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Since that time, public opinion had turned around in the state with polling showing a majority supported marriage equality. A Michigan couple, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, filed […]