Michigan Goings-On

Interesting Michigan developments …..

According to a story in Entertainment Weekly quoted by Daily Kos, the GKC Theatre chain, which owns 13 movie houses in Alpena, Traverse City, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, Fort Gratiot, Jackson, Ludington, Marquette, Saginaw, and Sault Ste. Marie, with a total of 268 screens, has booked “Fahrenheit 9/11” on only one of those screens (in Traverse City). Evidently the chain’s owners consider the film to be divisive leftist propaganda.

A law clerk at a firm in Okemos has sent out a letter on firm letterhead to 85 Michigan public libraries (under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, although FOIA exempts from disclosure “information of a personal nature if public disclosure of the information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of an individual’s privacy” [Michigan Compiled Laws 15.243, Section 13(1)(a)], which would presumably include the information the law firm is looking for) demanding that “libraries hand over patron names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses,” according to an article in yesterday’s Detroit News linked at LISNews. The clerk says that “he’s trying to gather research to create a profile of library users,” according to the article. A profile for what? The article doesn’t go into it.

And then there’s the usual “Let’s ban gays from having visitation rights—oops, I mean gay marriage” hijinks, but I won’t go into that, except to say that a very depressing and predictably hate-filled opinion piece was published about the subject in the Other Voices section of the Ann Arbor News last Thursday. Suffice it to say that all the usual bugaboos were trotted out, including the ludicrous claim that gay men prefer short-term (average length 1.5 years) to long-term relationships (the fundies are getting fond of quoting a 2003 study from the Amsterdam Municipal Health service and misusing the statistics from it to further their aims), and thus are constitutionally unable to have stable relationships. Depressingly, though, I don’t see much in the way of the extremists getting their way in November, at least here in Michigan. They’ve got the signatures to put the measure on the ballot, and they’ll spend whatever it takes to advertise their message and to intimidate or hoodwink people into voting for it.