Putting anti in Ypsilanti

If News Hits were not so darn polite, we would proclaim “Ypsilanti Citizens Voting Yes For Equal Rights Not Special Rights” to be a bunch of fascist, homophobic morons. But like we said, we’re polite. And name-calling doesn’t change anything, especially when the target of our attack (YCVYFERNSR — which is possibly mystic code for “The Beast”) is a sanctimonious lot who apparently can’t see that fear of their own repressed sexual proclivity is likely driving them and their ballot proposal. In other words, a bunch of closet cases. Not that there is anything wrong that.

What’s wrong is that if the proposal passes, all city ordinances — including those related to fair housing — that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination will be rendered null and void.

“The issue is about making it legal to discriminate against gay people in our city,” says Lisa Zuber, co-chair of the Ypsilanti Campaign for Equality, which has been working since last year to defeat the ballot proposal. Zuber says that the main backer of the initiative is Domino’s Pizza baron Tom Monaghan. According to Zuber, Monaghan wrote a $6,500 check to the company that ran the petition drive to get the proposal on the ballot for the Nov. 5 election.

Zuber’s group has collected about $11,000 to oppose the ballot initiative, and has the support of the Ypsilanti mayor, all but one council member, and hundreds of volunteers, religious leaders and businesspeople, she says.

On the other side is gazillionaire Monaghan, a religious zealot ever ready to impose his pieties on whomever his deep pockets can afford to oppress. What angers Zuber and others is that Monaghan doesn’t even live in Ypsilanti. Nor does Gary Glenn, president of American Families Association of Michigan, which is also pushing the ballot proposal. Glenn was too busy thumping his bible to return News Hits’ calls. So was the group backing this anti-gay initiative.

If passed, the proposal will overhaul the Ypsilanti City Charter, doing away with a human rights ordinance the city council unanimously approved in 1997. It protects gays as well as blacks, Hispanics, the disabled, you name it from discrimination. The ballot measure also would prevent the council from passing future ordinances that outlaw discrimination against gays, lesbians or other protected groups. That sounds beyond unconstitutional — it’s disconstitutional. If this thing passes, Ypsi’s taxpayers can count on spending a bundle trying to defend it in court.

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