October 20, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 42
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Monday, Jan 25, 2021



Admired Lesbian Fired by Detroit Catholic School
Admired Lesbian Fired by Detroit Catholic School
(Bloomfield Hills; 18 October 2006----) A dedicated and much-loved employee of a Detroit-area high school was fired last week following the publication of her book which detailed the harassment she endured for being a lesbian on the Detroit Police force.

Charlene Genther was fired on 13 October from her position of Campus Safety Officer at Marian High School, a position she held since 2001. Genther says the president of the school, Lenore Pochelski, told her that she had to leave because, as an out lesbian, her "lifestyle did not go along with the teachings of the Catholic Church." Marian, a Catholic, college preparatory high school for young women, is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Genther left the Detroit Police Department after nearly 15 years. She was one of the "first 100" female police officers assigned to patrol duty in 1975.

Since her firing last Friday, hundreds of former and current Marian students and families have expressed outrage and sorrow that Genther had been fired. Many students have begun a petition to bring her back.

"Your kind, caring and watchful eye over out daughters for these many years has been greatly appreciated," said the mother of a former student.

"[With Genther gone] it makes me sad to know what future generations of students will be missing" at Marian, said a former student.

Because Michigan law does not protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination, Genther has little legal recourse.

"Unfortunately, Charlene is suffering a second round of anti-gay discrimination," said Jeffrey Montgomery, Executive Director of Triangle Foundation. "It's a horrible lesson to be teaching those girls: that being honest will cost you your job. It's also hypocritical, because even the Church says job discrimination against gays and lesbians is wrong. She was a role model and mentor and they cast her out."

"To think they preached about respect for all, we are all children of God and that we not judge people..." said another student. "I personally feel that they are wrong to be teaching something that they are not practicing." She concluded.

In further tribute, another mother of Marian students wrote a note to Genther and said, "There is one very important thing I have never said but mean it very much. Thank you very much for loving my daughters. They are better young women for having you in their life."

"Clearly the Catholic hierarchy continues to get the gay question all wrong," Montgomery said. "In the process they waste and destroy their most precious human resources, whether they are in the pulpits or laypeople. It's a bad habit that must be broken."

Charlene Genther will be reading from her book, "Badge 3483," on Saturday 28 October at St. Andrews Church in Clawson (340 North Main Street), beginning at 1:30pm.
LGBT coalition sends pre-election message: Phone Home 2006
Your friends and family back home need your help!

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., and 17 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender coalition partners have launched a unique campaign to reach voters in states facing anti-gay ballot initiatives this November. The Phone Home 2006 campaign asks people to contact the folks back home to ask them to vote against discrimination. The campaign is targeted at voters in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, states facing discriminatory ballot initiatives. The campaign hub can be found at ( with a message from Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman:

Home is where you grew up, or went to college, or where you started your first job. Home is where you have family and friends no matter how long you've been away.Right-wing forces have put anti-LGBT initiatives on the November 7 ballot in eight states and most seek to enshrine discrimination in a state's constitution by outlawing not only same-sex marriage, but any form of legal protections for our families.Many people back home don't know about these dangerous initiatives or how harmful they are.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people back home need you to write or call the people you know and ask them to vote against discrimination on November 7.You can use this site to find out more about the initiatives in each state, send e-mail to people you know in the targeted states, donate to the state campaigns, download talking points and suggested text for letters, and spread the word about Phone Home 2006! Just click on your home state.

Discrimination is wrong and we cannot allow it to be written into any more state constitutions. Hate is not what home is about.

As of today, 17 coalition partners have joined with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., in the Phone Home campaign, asking friends and families, colleagues and members to Phone Home and support equal rights across the country on Election Day. Current coalition partners include:

Alternatives to Marriage Project
Bisexual Resource Center
COLAGE: Children of Lesbians & Gays Everywhere
Equality Federation
Family Pride
Freedom to Marry
GLAAD: Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
I Am Your Neighbor
Lambda Legal
Mautner Project, The National Lesbian Health Organization
National Association of LGBT
Community Centers
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
NYAC: National Youth Advocacy Coalition
PFLAG: Parents, Families and
Friends of Lesbians and Gays

The Phone Home campaign is designed to reach as many voters as possible and give people the opportunity to reach across the country to fight discrimination in their hometowns.

For a close-up on one of the state campaigns, read this report from Wisconsin by Political Director Dave Noble:

_____ On the road in Wisconsin

I just landed in Wisconsin to work on the campaign against the ballot measure that would ban civil unions and marriage. I got to Milwaukee on Friday, Oct. 13, where I'll be staying through Election Day, Nov. 7, helping run get-out-the-vote operations here. Already, I can tell this is an incredible campaign. Back in D.C., I'd heard about all the progress we were making in Wisconsin.

But being here, on the ground... I've got to tell you, in all my years of campaigns, I've never seen anything like it. Imagine. A campaign standing up for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people that is fully supported by the labor community, the Democratic Party, Republican radio talk-show hosts, editorial pages across the state, church leaders, high school and college students... the list goes on and on. And I don't mean these community leaders are just giving us lip service. They're sticking their necks out for us. The governor talks about defeating this ban in every speech he gives. Labor unions are spending money educating their members about why the ban needs to fail. People are spending time knocking on doors, speaking for our families. It's really pretty amazing.

At the Task Force, we talk about working for a vision we have for this country. We believe that equality is more than passing one law or stopping one ballot measure. It's about an America where LGBT people are fully integrated in society. This campaign comes pretty close to realizing that dream.

Half the staff of this campaign is straight. Most of our volunteers are straight. Wisconsin gets it. An emerging majority is realizing that discrimination against any group of citizens hurts a community's spirit.

It's so inspiring to be here, working side-by-side with committed activists who have been working 15 hour days since the spring, talking one-on-one with voters about how this ban will hurt Wisconsin.

You can help us out too! Make sure everyone you know in Wisconsin and in the other seven states fighting ballot measures: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginiai's planning to vote on Nov. 7.

Make sure they phone home and talk to everyone they know about why it is important to defeat these discriminatory ballot initiatives. We have some handy tools to help folks do that here at Phone Home!

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