Letter of Support for Michigan Department of Education LGBTQ guidelines

The following letter will be provided to educational organizations considering adoption of State Board of Education Statement and Guidance on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students.  This letter will highlight the many Michigan faith groups who support these guidelines and see them as consistent with our beliefs and practices.

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Dear Education Professional,

As Faith Leaders and People of Faith in Michigan, we urge you to consider immediate adoption of the State Board of Education Statement and Guidance on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students.

We strongly encourage the adoption of these guidelines for all public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in Michigan.

Our schools are an integral part of our communities, reflecting our values and commitment to our children’s lives and their education. We believe these guidelines reinforce safe and supportive learning environments for all students in Michigan, and offer the best path forward to reduce the unique obstacles our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning students encounter in pursuit of their education.

We support these guidelines because they protect the dignity of all students, helping to ensure that all students are treated with respect and understanding.

Our diverse faith traditions and lived experiences teach us to love our neighbor and honor all life.  We take this obligation seriously and believe strongly that the guidelines support this belief by thoughtfully addressing family and school engagement, as well as student needs.

Those signed below are in agreement that these guidelines should be adopted without delay and we, along with our faith communities, urge your full support.


Name including Title (Rev, Doc, etc)Congregation or Faith GroupCity, or area in Michigan of Congregation
Rev. John W. Kottke, Ret.First Christian Church -Disciples of ChristAdrian
Rev. Lois McCullen ParrUnited Methodist ChurchAlbion
Connie McGuire, Social Justice Council Chair1st Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann ArborAnn Arbor
Mr. George Jonte-CraneAnn Arbor First UMCAnn Arbor
Jan WrightAnn Arbor Friends Meeting (Quaker)Ann Arbor
Jeff CooperAnn Arbor Friends Meeting (Quaker)Ann Arbor
Mr. Jim ToyEpiscopal Church of the IncarnationAnn Arbor
Amelia HefferlinEpiscopal Church of the IncarnationAnn Arbor
Julie RoeschFirst United Methodist Church Ann Arbor
Rev. Dr. Fran MayesMCCAnn Arbor
Dr. Helen FoxReligious Society of Friends (Quakers)Ann Arbor
George Belvitch, President, Plymouth-Canton PFLAGSt. Mary Student ParishAnn Arbor
Rev. Joe SummersThe Episcopal Church of the IncarnationAnn Arbor
Nancy OgilvieunaffiliatedAnn Arbor
Linda HaywoodUnited Methodist ChurchAnn Arbor
Mr. Jared BootFirst Unitarian UniversalistAnn Arbor
Rev. Annie Kopko, associate ministerInterfaith Center for Spiritual GrowthAnn Arbor,
Mr. Timothy J. AtkinsonUnityBay City
Rev. Susan C. RichTrinity Episcopal ChurchBay City
Rev. Ian Reed TwissTrinity Episcopal ChurchBelleville
John W. RichardsBirmingham Unitarian ChurchBloomfield Hills
Cantor Rachel KalmowitzTemple Beth ElBloomfield Hills
Mary Jo Ebert, Social Justice Program ChairBirmingham Unitarian ChurchBloomfield Hills
The Rev. Diana WalworthSt. Michael & All Angels Episcopal ChurchCambridge Junction
Archie HandySt. Michael & All Angels Episcopal ChurchCambridge Junction
The Rev Bryan SmithPresbyterian Church, USACanton
Rev. Dr. Roland StringfellowMetropolitan Community Church of DetroitClawson
Rev. Diane WhteClinton United Church of ChristClinton
Bruce & Peggy RedouteLutheranClinton Twp.
Mr. Thomas A. NelsonChrist the King Catholic ChurchDetroit
Mrs. Linda KarleChrist the King Catholic ChurchDetroit
Artemae and Jerry AndersonChrist the King Catholic ChurchDetroit
Ms. Mary Lou MaloneUU DetroitDetroit
Diane SurmaChrist the King Catholic ParishDetroit
Ms. Linda Pytel McDowellChrist the King Catholic ChurchDetroit
Mr. John McDowell Christ the King Catholic ChurchDetroit
Janet CookSt. James EpiscopalDexter
The Rev. Carol MaderSt. James Episcopal ChurchDexter
Peter TchorykSt. James Episcopal ChurchDexter
Rev. Jenn TafelQ-CROSS@MSUEast Lansing
Dave Fellows St. John/St. Thomas East Lansing
Rev. Liz MillerEdgewood United Church UCCEast Lansing
Rev. Dr. Campbell LovettUnited Church of ChristEast Lansing
Rev. Gregory BriggsFirst Congregational United Church of Christ Grand Ledge
Kristyn Vander ZouwenAll Souls Community ChurchGrand Rapids
Mr. Saúl UlloaAll Souls Community ChurchGrand Rapids
Ned ZimmermanAll Souls Community ChurchGrand Rapids
MDAll Souls Community Church West MichiganGrand Rapids
The Rev. Mark A. JenkinsRetired, The Episcopal ChurchGregory
Deanna HurlbertBuddhistJackson
George L HebbenKalamazoo Friends Meeting (Quakers)Kalamazoo
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth CandidoPresbyterian Church (USA)Kalamazoo
Rev. Sarah Schmidt-LeeFirst Congregational ChurchKalamazoo
Rev. Barry T. PetrucciChapel Hill United Methodist ChurchKalamazoo County, City of Portage
The Rev. Mike WernickHoly Cross Episcopal and Ascension Lutheran ChurchesKentwood
Pastor/Chaplain Pj Anderson DMinSpace for Grace Fellowship UCCLansing
Mr. P. HortonUnityLapeer
Sister Susan Brigit BrooksEpiscopalianLathrup Village
Kathie CatanzaroSt. IsidoreMacomb
The Rev. Paul LeClairSt. Patrick's Episcopal ChurchMadison Heights
The Rev. Linda NorthcraftEpiscopalMetro Detroit
Ms barbara StevensonNWUU Metro detroit
Julie Coon - Certified Lay ServantUnited Methodist ChurchMiddleville
The Rev Roger PancostUnited Church of ChristMidland
Heidi Knizacky, Sunday school and OWL instructorUnited Church of ChristMidland
Chris Lauckner, MDivSt. Johns Episcopal ChurchMidland
Rev Christopher LaucknerSt Johns Episcopal ChurchMidland
The Rev Kenneth HitchSt John's Episcopal ChurchMidland
Jennifer DoyelUnitarian UniversalistMount Pleasant
Sara PrussingUnitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central MichiganMount Pleasant
Gwen WILLIAMS, Social Justice ChairHarbor Unitarian Universalist congregation Muskegon
Brother Thomas Zerafa OFM IIIOur Mother of Perpetual HelpOak Park/Ferndale Michigan
Rev. Mike CooperUnited Church of ChristOwosso
Professor emerita Ann Evans LarimoreThe Episcopal Church of the IncarnationPittsfield Twp. Washtenaw County
Mrs. Janet DerseyNonePlymouth
The Rev. Beth TaylorSt. John's Episcopal ChurchRoyal Oak
The Rev. Dr. Tim Spannaus, DeaconSt. John's Episcopal ChurchRoyal Oak
Barbara Noyes-StarkFirst Congregational ChurchSaginaw
The Rev. Andrea MartinHoly Faith ChurchSaline
Rev. Keith KoebelSt. Paul United Church of ChristSaline
Rev. Pam KoebelSt. Paul United Church of ChristSaline
Randy Block, DirectorMichigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice NetworkStatewide
Emmy Lou CholakUUCGT, and Congregation Beth ShalomTraverse City
Irene WalterBeacon Unitarian Universalist CongregationTroy
Terrie HalbertLutheran Church of the Master Troy
Ann McGowanFortunate Families DetroitWest Bloomfield
Chris DixonSS. Simon and Jude ChurchWestland
The Rev. Andrea MorrowSt. Stephen's Episcopal ChurchWyandotte
Wayne Burling1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Glenda Horvath1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Chris Hale1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Margaret Harner1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Melanie Harner1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Tad Wysor1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Rev. Carol Hall1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Erik Steel1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti
Lisa BashertAnn Arbor Friends MeetingYpsilanti
Morris Taber1st Congregational United Church of ChristYpsilanti 



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