In a concerted effort to showcase the inequalities LGBT people are subjected to throughout their state, prominent leaders in Michigan are preparing to embark on a 100-day hunger strike. The first day of the strike is scheduled for Monday.
According to Detroit Free Press, during the hunger strike, leaders will be visible from a large window facing 9 Mile in downtown Ferndale.
Ferndale Affirmations executive director, David Garcia, said the hunger strike is aimed at educating their “straight allies about the extreme anti-equality environment” in Michigan. The campaign will target specific legislators and legislation.
Communities in Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Midland, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor will take 24-hour food-free shifts in protest.
“The governor is really big on trying to create an environment that is good for the economy and is producing jobs, but then he takes away domestic partner benefits for gay people,” said Garcia.
“So you’re a gay person and you’re coming out of college or you’re graduation from the University of Michigan. Where are you going to go? You’re going to go somewhere that your partner can have health benefits. That’s not here,” Garcia told local paper M Live.
The Advocate reports that Michigan has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage; it also has no statewide protections for LGBT people in employment or housing. There are also no statewide protections for LGBT people against violence and same-sex couples in the state are banned from adopting children. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Snyder eliminated health insurance benefits for domestic partners of municipal employees last year.