Resident to Ask Rochester Hills Leaders to Oppose Civil Rights Bill

House Bill 5039, proposed by state Rep. Tom McMillin, would stop cities from extending special rights to gays and lesbians.

A Rochester Hills man is expected tonight to ask city leaders to help him oppose a law proposed by the city's state representative — a law he says would "roll back civil rights."

Tim Maurer has been working to urge Rochester Hills leaders to oppose House Bill 5039, a measure proposed in October by state Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills). The bill would prohibit municipalities from extending special rights to those not covered by the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976.

The Elliott-Larsen Act protects people on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, weight, height, familial or marital status. But it does not offer protection on the basis of sexual orientation.

Many municipalities have approved their own ordinances that extend the act's protections. This House bill would take away the ability of municipalities to enact such ordinances.

Maurer admits he may be an unlikely critic of the bill.

"People may look at me and say, 'You're a straight white male with a wife and two kids living in Rochester Hills,'" he said. "But I know some gay and lesbian people in this town. To me, the bill says to them 'Rochester Hills is no place for you.' "

Maurer has always been interested in politics and grew up in a family in which voting was a priority and being interested in politics was a civic duty.

"I never thought an elected official in Michigan would attempt to roll back civil rights," he said.

House Bill 5039 is pending in the House Judiciary Committee. There has been no action on the bill since it was offered by McMillin in October. It is not on the immediate agenda of any committee meetings.

McMillin has defended the bill as making civil rights protections uniform at a state level.

“I’ve been somewhat active throughout the years in trying to stop some of these special-rights ordinances for homosexual behavior, and noticed they’re often used to discriminate against Christians,” McMillin said, according to a report on CitizenLink.com, an affiliate of Focus on the Family.

“Under 5039, the municipalities have to abide by what the state calls a protected class. This merely says the debate should be at the state level. We can’t have a patchwork of protected classes (that means) depending on which side of the street you live on, businesses have to operate differently.”

Maurer planned to attend tonight's Rochester Hills City Council meeting to urge councilmembers to adopt a resolution in opposition to House Bill 5039.

"Rolling back civil rights isn't Rochester Hills," he said. "We're too educated for that. We have future state leaders sitting at that table."

The resolution, which Maurer helped draft, reads as follows:

WHEREAS, the diversity of our community makes Rochester Hills a great place to live, work, and raise a family; and

WHEREAS, the City of Rochester Hills recognizes that respect for diversity is a vital component of successful economic development and talent retention; and

WHEREAS, Article VII, Section 22 of the Michigan Constitution guarantees each city and village the “power to adopt resolutions and ordinances relating to its municipal concerns”; and

WHEREAS, the State has no legitimate interest in restricting the ability of local units of government to adopt anti-discrimination ordinances that reflect the values and unique circumstances of our communities and opposes House Bill 5039 and urges the Michigan Legislature to defeat this legislation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to State Representative Tom McMillin, State Senator Jim Marleau and the members of the State House Judiciary Committee.

The Rochester Hills City Council meets at 7 tonight at the . The resolution is not on the agenda. Maurer said he will speak about it during the public comment section of the meeting.

McMillin will hold in-district office hours in the building 4-6 p.m.

Edward S. January 24, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Mr. Maurer, please keep doing what you are doing. It is refreshing to see a young person get involved in their community, I commend you. I am of the same generation as Mr. Patrishkoff and know of him, do not let his comments, rudeness and bullying tactics sway you from your beliefs. Keep doing what you are doing, and ignore the "old news".
Scot Beaton January 24, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Tim, Daryl... Please...thousands of bills are introduced every year by state reps. This bill is going nowhere Tom is only going thru this political exercise to protect his base. We all know Tom does not support LGBT life styles...Brooks Patterson had to drag his blank out Ferndale once when he was a county commissioner...was quite embarrassing moment for that political party. I give Tom tons of credit he does not hide his personal christian beliefs. Don't like him don't vote for him...I am very pro LGBT Jesus Christ "thou shalt not judge" or better yet our founding fathers "all men are created equal". I like those principals better than Tom's. But this is where I see a wonderful opportunity for Rochester Hills, Rochester, and Oakland Township... Pass a joint resolution that openly supports LGBT life styles in our three great communities. Tom's bill...we are way bigger than that...let it die a wonderful miserable death. Thanks both for your great commentents and reading mine.
Scot Beaton January 24, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Need to ad one quick disclaimer LOL... I'm very pro LGBT rights... I don't think I could be any straighter...going on 30 years of marriage...but I have been pro civil rights since birth. P.S. suggestion and word of caution don't hang to close pumping up Tom McMillin... This CPA is brilliant with the numbers and a fiscal conservative... but you may get unfairly labeled as a gay basher yourself just a thought.
Daryl Patrishkoff January 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Let's all read the bill. The bill is stating communities cannot add a special group and given special rights. The State is the only level a special group can be given a special right, which sounds reasonable. How do you like the idea that you cannot talk on your cell phone when you drive into a certain city? This is what community special rules get you, something that is confusing, cannot be enforced effectively and in the end people do not follow the rule. Do we want every community to have different rules we all must abide by? How is each community going to enforce these special rules? Do you truly believe the community can effectively enforce these special rules? The bill asks us to agree as a Sate for these special groups. This is reasonable and a common way to protect all peoples rights at the State level. People who are truly concerned about this issue should go the State level and protect all of Michigan residents. I understand I am going to be labeled as a Tom lover and a gay basher. This label will be given to me because I do not believe this issue is a local issue and should be dealt with at the State level. This is not rolling back "Civil Rights" as expressed to get some attention. This bill says we should have a consistent "Civil Rights" for all Michigan residents. For the record, I believe we all should be able to live the life we want without breaking the law. I want our State to protect everyone equally with their Civil Rights.
Daryl Patrishkoff January 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Edward S., Please introduce your full identity, you state you know me. Who are you? I am stating facts, taking a position and expressing my opinion in an open forum. Just because I do not agree with what is being said does not mean I am “Old News” and a bully.
Brian Kirksey January 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Daryl, You are right it never mentions anything about being gay, but whom else is it referring to? The only ordinances that Rep McMillan has ever publicly said he disagreed with was LGBT protection, and he specifically mentioned his disdain for the reasoning behind 5039. So if nearly all the major cities in Michigan, and many smaller ones have adopted similar ordinances, would not the logical bill be to introduce statewide legislation supporting LGBT protection under Elliot Larsen? Why take a step backward? Not only that the law of unintended consequences is that this legislation now bars any protected class, beyond LGBT. How about a private college denying admission to home schoolers because they are maladjusted? Here is the funny thing about future we have no real ability to predict what happens next, this bill prevents us from helping people from being discriminated with now...and in the future. Let's tie fiscal responsibility into this, writing of this bill wasted state resources. It has no chance of passing, it was merely meant to pander to a small nutty right wing base. Yet it took time in the legislature, the attorneys at the state had to write a bill, it has to go through committee, all the staffers have to brief the legislatures on it. You want to talk about being fiscally responsible, this is the antithesis of that.
Brian Kirksey January 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM
The next point on McMillan on fiscal responsibility is his support for the repeal of no fault. The people that need the unlimited cap on medical, will still need an unlimited medical after it is repealed. All of these people will fall under the State's responsibility under medicaid, further increasing Government spending. His support for charter schools, cyber schools just means that school districts already stretched thin, will have to spend more money on non educated activities like marketing and advertising for their district. The State now has the burden of licensing every Tom, Dick and Harry that wants to open a Charter School, further increasing Government spending to administer the increase in unlimited charters, and now an onslaught of cyber schools that also need to be regulated. You cannot be fiscally responsible in just the things you do not like, and irresponsible in the things you do like and still be considered to be fiscally responsible. It's like being a vegetarian, except for eating fish, by the way fish are not vegetables.
dk January 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM
LOL - If you call taking money from Rochester kids to give to business and out-of-state for-profit charter schools responsible, well let's say it is for purposes of this discussion. But what does that have to do with his complete disdain for gay people? Here, you can watch McMillin bob, weave, and deliberately evade on the subject at his own town hall. He's all for small government when it comes to his freedoms, but he sure can tell everyone else what they can and can't do. He is spending our tax dollars to legislate against our kids, but then, what else is new? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx7YzKueZAY&feature=youtu.be
dk January 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Scott Beaton: "I give Tom tons of credit he does not hide his personal christian beliefs." He's entitled to his beliefs, but he isn't entitled to legislate them. When the GOP wrestles their party away from the likes of Tom McMillin, I might vote for one again.
dk January 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Daryl - If you knew anything about blogging, you'd know that many people don't use their names because of their jobs, crazy people, and they don't have to. Too bad it upsets you so. One doesn't need to know who someone is to evaluate the facts. They speak for themselves, unless one is a partisan whose ideology can't see past their spin.
dk January 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Vote for Joanna VanRaaphorst for State Representative. Unlike McMillin, she is pro-business, kids, community, and schools. She is from Rochester and for Rochester, and she isn't an ideolog who wants to push her religious beliefs and radical partisan agenda down others' throats. http://www.joannaforrochester.com/
Kristin Bull (Editor) January 24, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Here is an update on this issue: http://rochester.patch.com/articles/rochester-hills-leaders-we-ll-do-our-homework-on-house-bill-5039
Daryl Patrishkoff January 24, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Oakland, Still at it, once you finally come out on who you are you are insignificant noise. Follow the rules of the Patch and join in on an intelligent conversation.
Daryl Patrishkoff January 24, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Oakland, Did you notice that all the blogs on the Patch are written by people that tell who they are and mostly have a profile? Follow the rules of the Patch.
Daryl Patrishkoff January 24, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Brian, Read the bill, it does not single out anyone and it asks for consistency at the State level. Many people are jumping to the conclusions about this being an attack on gays, also they are using it to attack Rep McMillan. It is a false attack and I will stand up for anyone who is being falsely attacked regardless of whether I agree with their view or not. I happen to agree with McMillan on his fiscal responsibility issues and what the State is doing, I do not agree on everything. I do not know anyone I completely agree with, that is not a reason to attack them with false issues. If we let these special rules be different at each city level we will have a mess no one can ever enforce. Do you think each city can spend money to enforce their specific rules? Sighting the fiscal issue, just think of the legal bills each city will take on to defend their specific rules and the confusion this will bring. This is a foolish inefficient way to address the discrimination issue with each city have different rules. Work at the State level to get this right, not the city level.
Brian Kirksey January 24, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Alex: Are you a savant or an idiot savant? If you are so good at reading people's minds, what number am I thinking of right now... What about the rest of us that were there supporting Tim's resolution, do we also have other agendas? Or maybe, just maybe we also believe that HB 5039 is a terrible idea and it has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility or charter schools.
Brian Kirksey January 24, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I have read the bill, and I have also heard the author's position as to the intent, which he clearly stated was to remove the "gay ordinances". I do not disagree with it should be a State issue, as I also believe your example of cell phones should be as well. But I also believe that the LGBT community should be brought under Elliiot-Larsen, especially seeing that several large Michigan towns have already adopted these ordinances, seems like McMillan is going backwards. The logical thing if McMillan was so concerned about inequity in enforcement, than adding LGBT to Elliot Larsen would be the logical thing to do. His stance and other's support of it looks like homophobia, and makes it's supporters seem on the wrong side of history and what many voters across the state have already decided to adopt. So voters can no longer make decisions, seems like a repeal of freedom not really a tea party virtue is it?
Leigh January 24, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Alex and Daryl, There is no hidden agenda with Tim. I am a relative and I can tell you this has NOTHING to do with money. We have family members and friends that a bill like this would harm. While you might not agree with us that is fine, but we obviously do not agree with you. Daryl, you seem to want to cram things down people's throats until they finally just give in. You are argumentative and insulting, it really is a shame that you cannot respect another persons opinion. Tim's wife is a teacher, but does that mean he cannot have an opinion? Money is not the issue, our family does not run that way. As far as using my last name, I agree with Oakland it can bring the crazies out and I have children in this community. McMillin is homophobic, it is obvious. You can see him on YouTube, of all places, unable to answer questions that were asked of him.
Bruce Jackson January 24, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Alex I am new to this Bill and am still reading through it. I am a personal friend of the Maurer"s and I feel it is out of line to say anything about Tim Maurer's wife. Alex you are rude and immature,say what you want about the Bill ( 5039 ) leave peoples famlies out of it. Trust me in the Maurer's famliy money is not the issue. Tim is standing up for what he believes in bottomline. You bug me Alex !!!
Ryan Leclerc January 26, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Yes, we all are special. But, like other minorities, the LGBT community has faced institutional discrimination through physical violence, discriminatory hiring, and other disadvantages based upon an immutable human difference. I agree we need to protect all people, that is the intent of the law. Adding sexual orientation as a protected class seeks to acknowledge that unlike other qualities (being blond, having a big nose, green eyes), sexual orientation has historically been an excuse to harm people. With regard to the bill, your reading is mistaken. The result would render human rights ordinances in cities such as Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, Saginaw, Flint, Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Lansing and others invalid. These cities found it important to create the ordinances and they will be destroyed by HB 5039.
Ryan Leclerc January 26, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Daryl, I do not think "gay bashing" is within the bill either. What I see is an attempt to prevent cities from creating disincentives for discrimination.
Ryan Leclerc January 26, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Daryl, I strongly refute your "facts." You are stating opinions.
Ryan Leclerc January 26, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Please contact the Rochester City Council and tell them that HB 5039 is bad for Rochester and the state!
Ryan Leclerc January 26, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I agree that there should be a statewide inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity to Elliot-Larsen. I do not see HB 5039 as furthering anything but a blanket prohibition until Elliot-Larsen is amended.
Ryan Leclerc January 26, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Well said Brian!
Daryl Patrishkoff January 26, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Leigh, I am stating that this bill does not single out and bash gay people. If we all read the bill and all the words we find it does not take any Civil Rights away. It says to do this type of legislation the State level. It is a great thing to have this protection at the State level. If I read the quotes by Tim he states "I never thought an elected official in Michigan would attempt to roll back civil rights." Explain to me how this statement is not grandstanding to get people thinking it is a major bill that is taking peoples Civil Rights away. This is misleading, he needs to stick to the words in the bill and not add what he thinks it says. As stated earlier, I believe anyone can live their life the way they choose as long as they do not break the law. I do not believe I am bullying Tim, I am calling him out on his grandstanding and previous misleading article. I am stating my opinion and engaging in a debate that is what this forum is about. I strongly disagree with the individual that personally attacked Tim and his wife, that is bullying and has no place in this discussion.
Daryl Patrishkoff January 26, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Ryan, The facts I state are the words in the bill which nowhere bashes or discriminates against gays. If you read the bill you will find out this is a fact. How do you dispute this fact? My opinion is that I believe we should do this type of legislation should be done at the State level. I believe we do not need any of these types of rules at the local level; it will cause confusion, inefficiencies and added expense to the local entity.
Jean Forrester February 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I support Tom McMillen's efforts. The community will be no less diverse, just standing in the gap between what is right morally and what is wrong. Jean
Brian Kirksey February 10, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Wow Jean morally right, your moral compass points south... Why don't you tell us how we can throw Jesus's teaching's out the window and discriminate against people in the name of religion while your at it. Let me guess you are going to tell us how you are a Christian?
Stephen February 11, 2012 at 01:46 AM
What a waste of time, this is not Selma, Al in the 60's... We all have human rights and are protected by the laws of discrimination. IMHO we should embrace all cultures and diversity here in Rochester Hills as a leader of human equality. Be proactive and call city hall with your disgust with McMillin who is homophobic. This is a just an irresponsible cost of our tax dollars...


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