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Senators from both sides of the aisle want Trump to clear the air on the Khashoggi killing. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Massachusetts leads the U.S. in the fentanyl-overdose death rate; plus we will let you know why business want to preserve New Mexico’s special places.

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In Wake of Orlando: Turning Emotions into Action in Michigan

Michigan's Elliot Larson Non-Discrimination Act and the state's hate-crimes law do not include LGBTQ individuals and need to be expanded. (Jim Toy Community Center)
Michigan's Elliot Larson Non-Discrimination Act and the state's hate-crimes law do not include LGBTQ individuals and need to be expanded. (Jim Toy Community Center)
June 27, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - It's been two weeks since the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., but the tragedy likely will never be forgotten by those in Michigan's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Activist Jim Toy, founder of the Spectrum Center, and a member of the National Association of Social Workers in Michigan, said people in Michigan are still experiencing sadness, anger and fear over the tragedy. Emotions, he said, should be directed into action for change. Toy said the LGBT community is threatened by the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

"Not by the act itself but by people who use it against TGBLQ folks and allies," he said. "We also are at risk of having our local non-discrimination ordinances struck down."

He notes Michigan's Elliot Larson Non-Discrimination Act and the state's hate crimes law do not include LGBT individuals and need to be expanded. Forty-nine people were among those killed by a gunman targeting a gay night club on June 12, including two men with ties to Michigan.

Another issue resonating after the Orlando shooting are calls for sensible gun laws, including restricting access to assault weapons. Toy believes gun violence is an epidemic that should be addressed at multiple levels.

"Guns are used by people who are filled, for example, with prejudice and hate," he added. "On the other hand, the psycho-social forces that encourage people to use guns or any other weapon of violence needs to be addressed."

Toy adds that in order to create justice that can lead to peace, the current culture of hate needs to end. He said people from all walks of life deserve to be treated with respect.

"It needs to be addressed first in positive terms in our homes, our educational institutions, our religious institutions and in specific policy concerns," he said. "We've been working on that for 30 years here, so we have a long road to go."

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI