News Story

Michigan LGBTQ+ commission’s first act is to condemn congressman

The group, meant to develop policies for state government, takes on federal official for months-old remarks

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created an LGBTQ+ commission in November to help her recommend policies, that, according to her executive order, “eradicate and prevent discrimination against Michigan’s LGBTQ+ community and its members.”

The commission’s first act was to condemn Tim Walberg, a member of Michigan's delegation to the U.S. House, for comments he made during Uganda’s National Prayer Breakfast on Oct. 8.

The commission condemned Walberg’s comments in a Jan. 8 news release.

“We, the Michigan LGBTQ+ Commission, strongly condemn such statements and actions that promote discrimination, violence, and persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Michael Van Beek, the Mackinac Center’s director of research, expressed concern that the new commission has already engaged in mission creep.

“No matter the issue, state commissions like these should be careful not to stray from their official duties. I hope the actions of this new commission are an aberration and not a developing norm,” Van Beek told CapCon.

Walberg’s office responded to criticism by issuing a statement. “Congressman Walberg never endorsed any legislation or law while in Uganda,” Walberg’s office wrote, as reported by The Hill. The statement read:

“Despite inaccurate reports circulating, the transcript clearly shows that Congressman Walberg never endorsed any legislation or law in Uganda. He did call out the World Bank for repeatedly holding Uganda, a Christian nation, to a different standard than much of the rest of the world. There is an undeniable double standard where other nations, like Afghanistan, receive uncriticized support from the World Bank. Global organizations, like the World Bank, should adhere to their mission and fiduciary duty to help bring economic prosperity to developing countries. They should not be in the business of pushing social policies, especially in an uneven fashion. This is just one example of a growing trend of global organizations abandoning their duties and missions to pursue a political agenda and Congressman Walberg will continue to speak against this trend, even when it comes with gross mischaracterizations and inaccuracies.”

Uganda’s law, which makes some homosexual acts punishable by death, has been condemned on a bipartisan basis. “This Uganda law is horrific & wrong,” said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a May 29, 2023 post on X. “Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination.”

President Joe Biden called the law “a tragic violation of universal human rights,” according to The Hill.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.