For Immediate Release: Live Music, Limber Legs, and Lumberjacks



Ann Arbor, Michigan… “S.C.O.T.U.S. or BUST!” is a variety show/fundraising event for the National Marriage Challenge, to be held Friday, March 27th from 5-9:45PM at The Necto Nightclub, 516 E Liberty, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Tickets range for $10-$20 and can be purchased in advance at or at the door. 18 & over are welcome.

There will be a VIP Happy Hour from 5-6pm with very special guests Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, local political officials, and community members close to the cause.  We’ll hear about how we have gotten to this point and what we can expect as the Supreme Court hears this case.  Hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and VIP guests will have early access to our silent auction, made possible by many generous local business partners.

The variety show will feature Michigan musicians The Understorey (the duo), Kate Peterson (of Nervous but Excited), Tyler Duncan (Ella Riot, Michelle Chamuel, s/he), a premiere of Chris Good & The Sweet Insurrection’s new music video for the song “Beautiful,”  and Western Michigan University student songwriter Sam Slottow. It will feature burlesque, dance, drag and gender performances by Maxi Chanel, Luna Legare of Tickled Fancy, A-Train and Freddie Cougar of Drag King Rebellion, and Thrustin Beiber. And for the Lumberjacks, you’ll have to be there to see it. Eastern Michigan University LGBTRC Program Coordinator Mary Larkin will emcee the evening. “S.C.O.T.U.S. or BUST!” will also host a silent auction with donations from many local businesses.  Following the show at 10PM, the Necto’s PRIDE FRIDAY will commence and all event goers are free to stay and dance free of charge!

“S.C.O.T.U.S. or BUST!” is being organized by a group of community members in partnership with the Jim Toy Community Center and the National Marriage Challenge.

The National Marriage Challenge is a 501(c)3 that directly contributes funds to the legal fees of Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, two Michigan nurses whose case has been chosen to represent the cause of marriage equality for all families nationwide this spring in the US Supreme Court. They are anticipating legal costs upwards of $250,000. Learn more

More information about the event can be found on Facebook at: Please use #SCOTUSorbust for tagging. Direct donations can be made at

Please direct any questions to Kate Peterson, 517.281.1480, or Chrissie George, 734.546.8548,

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LGBT Community Celebrates Snyder’s Decision on Marriage

Washtenaw’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community applauds Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision today not to appeal a federal court’s ruling in favor of same-sex married couples in Michigan.  The lawsuit was brought on behalf of couples who were legally married in Michigan in 2014 but whose marriages the state had refuses to recognize.  The federal judge had placed a stay on the ruling, which expires February 5, meaning families can begin to enjoy the benefits of their marriage licenses that day.

“This is a great day and a big step forward for marriage equality in our great state,” Jim Toy Community Center President Brad O’Conner said.  “We look forward to the day all Michigan families are treated equally under the law.”

In February 2015, a federal court ruled that the 323 couples who were married on March 22, 2014, following a ruling by a federal court in the DeBoer v. Snyder case that challenged the state’s ban on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognizing their licenses from other states.  The DeBoer case judge issued his ruling on March 21, but did not put a stay on the ruling.  This allowed couples a few hours to get married in the four counties whose clerks were willing to issue licenses to these couples.  The class action lawsuit on behalf of the 323 couples is Caspar v. Snyder.

Among the 323 couples in Washtenaw, many are organizing celebrations for their first anniversary—March 22.  LGBT groups across the state, including the Jim Toy Community Center, which serves Washtenaw’s LGBT community, are also planning events for June in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the four cases regarding marriage equality—including the DeBoer case—that the Court has agreed to hear.

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Press Release: Washtenaw’s LGBT Community Awaits Court Decision

For Immediate Release
Contact: Brad O’Conner, 734-707-7487

Washtenaw’s LGBT Community Awaits Court Decision

The Washtenaw-area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, while disappointed not to have any news yet, continues to wait anxiously for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether to hear the marriage equality cases that have been appealed to it.

“We are all anticipating a decision from the Court,” Jim Toy Community Center President Brad O’Conner said. “We’re frustrated the Supreme Court has passed on two opportunities—today and last Friday—to grant cert, but we are confident they will take at least one of the marriage equality cases before them this year.”

The Jim Toy Center supports the Washtenaw County LGBT community.

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court decides which cases in will hear arguments on, of the many appealed to it. The Court’s only action on marriage equality in 2015 has been to deny the Louisiana case Robincheaux v. George, likely because the case has not gone through an appeals court but was appealed directly from the district court level. The Supreme Court has not granted cert to any cases of any kind this year. Its only announcements thus far have been which cases it will not hear.

“This is a difficult wait for the many Michigan couples whose marriages, whether with an in -state or out-of-state license, not to mention the thousands of families who want and need legally-recognized marriages here.” O’Conner said.

One of the cases before the U.S. Supreme Court is DeBoer v. Snyder, the lawsuit by two Hazel Park, Michigan, mothers to legally wed and thereby co-adopt their four children, all of whom have disabilities or special needs. As the initial judge in the DeBoer case decided to hold a fact-finding trial, many legal experts believe this could be the case the Supreme Court agrees to hear.

US District Court Judge Bernard Friedman ruled in favor of the DeBoer-Rowse family on March 21, 2014, enabling more than 300 Michigan couples to get married the following day before the state government convinced the appeals court to grant a stay the following day.

The Jim Toy Center has contributed towards funding the costs of that law suit. The Nessel and Kessel law firm that argued the case is still accepting donations at

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Singing for Love and Justice

You’re invited! There will be a benefit concert this Saturday, November 22, 2014, in the First United Methodist Church Sanctuary. Consider joining this opportunity to celebrate diversity and inclusion. Performances and stories from 7–8 PM; reception to follow.

The event will feature Katie Geddes, the Method Clawson Praise Band, and the Out Loud Chorus.

Singing for Love and Justice, a benefit concert for the Clawson United Methodist Church, is sponsored by Rainbow Crossing with support from Church & Society of the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor.
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Service of Affirmation–You’re Invited


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Join us for a mailing party and potluck!

We need your help with our fundraising campaign. We will be stuffing, sealing, labeling, and stamping letters for our annual fundraising appeal.

If you’d like to help out, please join us at the Jim Toy Community Center on December 1st from 6 to 8 PM. This is also a potluck! If you’re able to, come share one of your favorite dishes with us.

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Day of Decision: To be Determined!

Day of Decision

DATE: TBD (The day that rulings are issued)
PLACE: Jim Toy Community Center/ Braun Court
TIME: 5:30 to 8:00 PM

Check out our Facebook event!

This fall, we will experience another historic moment in LGBT history. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on the validity Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban. Regardless of the outcome of the rulings, our Community will rally in celebration or protest and look forward to the next step in the equality movement: The Supreme Court of the United States. Come to Braun Court in Ann Arbor at 5:30 PM on the day of the rulings. The Jim Toy Community Center will have local clergy, elected officials and community leaders speak.

We cannot predict the date that the Sixth Circuit will issue its opinion. However, we will do our best to keep the Community advised via email and Facebook. To join our email list, please visit and complete the sign-up form on the right-hand column of the page.

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Day of Decision: Video

A retrospective video on Michigan’s Day of Decision was prepared! Enjoy.

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Get your tickets for Jim Toy’s Birthday Bash!

Help us celebrate Jim Toy’s birthday on April 25, 2014 at Arbor Brewing Microbrewery (formerly Corner Brewery), 720 Norris Street, Ypsilanti, MI at 7:30 PM. Join us for cupcakes, conversation, raffles, door prizes, entertainment and more! Cash bar available (beer/wine only). $100 or more gets you an invite to the Host Reception, which begins at 6:30 PM. For others, a suggested donation of $25 ($15 for students) can be made online.

Jim Toy’s Birthday Bash

To join the host committee, please contact Jason Morgan. Minors must be accompanied by parent (brewery policy)

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March 22, 2014: Retrospective and photo gallery

Kim Borger and Audrey Wojtkowiak have posted a retrospective, complete with many photographs, of the day of marriage equality in Michigan, when hundreds of same-sex couples were able to marry in Washtenaw, Oakland, Ingham, and Muskegon counties. Check it out here.

March 22, 2014: Celebrants in Washtenaw County

March 22, 2014: Celebrants in Washtenaw County

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