Residents in Traverse City, Mich., vote to retain LGBT-inclusive city nondiscrimination ordinance

Organizers get out the vote in Traverse City

Residents of Traverse City, Mich., have voted to retain the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which includes explicit protections for LGBT people. According to local media reports, the city voted to keep the ordinance by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force provided staff and financial support leading to this victory. A team of Task Force organizers helped get out the vote in Traverse City, the nation’s only LGBT-specific ballot campaign this Election Day. The Task Force worked with Traverse City Equality and sponsored a Michigan Power Summit with a phone-banking session specifically aimed at raising critical dollars to secure victory in Traverse City.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

The people of Traverse City have sent a clear message that they value their LGBT friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members and don’t want to see them left vulnerable to discrimination. This victory creates a stronger and more welcoming city not only for LGBT people and their families, but for everyone. We were proud to have partnered with Traverse City Equality in the nation’s only LGBT-specific ballot measure campaign this election. This is a victory for Traverse City and for our common humanity.

Statement by Diana Ketola, Steering Committee Member, Traverse City Equality:

This is a wonderful victory. Traverse City voters have defended fairness and taken a strong stand for all families. We would not be celebrating this victory if it were not for Traverse City residents’ commitment to civil rights, our amazing campaign staff, our volunteers, our community and allies, and the support of organizations like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The Task Force spent time with us on the ground to train our campaign team and contributed financially to help us ensure this victory.

Statement by Jon Hoadley, Coalition Director, Unity Michigan:

We are hugely appreciative of the work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to help us build the teams on the ground to win battle ground elections, educate decision makers, and change hearts and minds.