Leaders from the Community Centers Network (CCN), which is made up of eight GLBT groups in Michigan have begun a 100 day hunger strike. This team of plucky individuals are refusing food for 24-hour shifts, living on display in the front windows of Affirmations, Michigan’s largest LGBT community centre in the heart of downtown Ferndale.
According to these hungry protesters, gay, lesbian and bisexual residents in Michigan face a raft of anti-gay laws that not only barred from getting married or adopting children. But they can be fired by the employer simply because of their sexuality or gender identity. They can also be denied public housing and have domestic partner benefits taken away.
The 100 day strike started yesterday, 30th July and is designed to highlight the social injustices in the state in the run up to the November general elections.
David Garcia, Affirmations executive director said “Michigan is the Mississippi of the civil rights movement when it comes to gay equality. This is a day of hunger because we hunger for equality…this is the civil rights battle of our time.’
Garcia claimed the state should be ‘embarrassed’ by its record on gay equality, “When we speak to our straight allies about this they get angry. Without the straight community we will never win equality in this state.“ he said.
Regardless of the outcome of this protest, it has already achieved in bringing more public attention to the difficulties and discrimination the GLBT community face in the eyes of law in Michigan.
I wish them well in their protest, for more information or to just see how they are doing, you can watch their webcam feed here.