AFRICANGLOBE – Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel says she’s confident a strong message supporting “civil rights” for the LGBTQ community will be delivered during the NAACP Flint branch’s annual Freedom Fund dinner next month by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.
Nessel, commenting for the first time about a boycott organized against the organization because of anti-gay comments made about her by an executive committee member, said national NAACP leaders have stood up against all discrimination in the past and she expects the organization — including the Flint branch — will continue to do so.
Quincy Murphy, a longtime community activist in Flint, organized a boycott of the fundraising dinner, which features a keynote address from Gilchrist, after comments made last fall by A.C. Dumas, a former president and current executive committee member of the Flint branch.
Dumas wrote on Facebook last October that he would not vote for Nessel, then a candidate for attorney general, because “she’s gay.”
That same month, Murphy asked for Dumas’ resignation in a letter to the NAACP and asked the group to remove him if he refused to leave. Neither happened.
“When the NAACP spoke out on marriage equality in 2013, (it said it) would always stand up against discrimination, segregation and unequal treatment,” Nessel said in a statement to MLive-The Flint Journal.
“Five years later, the NAACP commented on the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling (2018), saying (it) would not rest until each person is treated equally under the law, regardless of race, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation … That is why I fully expect the Flint Chapter of the NAACP and its leadership to subscribe to the same set of beliefs as asserted by the NAACP nationally: that all people are deserving of equal protection under the law, including those of us who identify as LGBTQ.
“I appreciate those who are standing up in support of this precept. I am confident Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist will use his office and his role as the keynote speaker for this year’s annual dinner as an opportunity to deliver that message.”
Frances Gilcreast, president of the Flint NAACP, has said Dumas does not speak for her group and has called his remarks about Nessel “unfortunate” and “ridiculous.”
In addition to Murphy’s request for action against Dumas, other groups wrote to Gilcreast this week, urging her to “denounce homophobia and transphobia within your organization and to uphold the founding principles of the NAACP through the inclusion of all persons — including the LGBTQ community.”
Representatives of the Equality Caucus of Genesee County, Flint Gay Pride Society and Wellness AIDS Services Inc. were among those who signed the letter.
State Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, has also said he will honor the request to boycott the event.
Dumas, who has said his religious beliefs make it impossible for him to support a candidate who is gay, said he’s only expressing his opinion — like Nessel and others.
“That’s what makes America great,” he said. “But no one’s beliefs are going to trump what God says.”
By: Ron Fonger