Equality Cabaret’s PRE-BENEFIT PHOTOSHOOT – Saturday, January 25, 2014 between 11:00a.m. and 3:00p.m.

Eq Cabaret Pre Photoshoot Logo

Prior to the Equality Cabaret, The Jim Toy Community Center is having a free PRE-BENEFIT PHOTOSHOOT for all families who support marriage equality.  All couples and families are invited, regardless of sexual orientation.  Photographs will be used as part of the Equality Cabaret on February 23, 2014 at the Ark in Ann Arbor.

The Equality Cabaret is a benefit of the Michigan Marriage Challenge presented by the Jim Toy Community Center. Proceeds will be used to help fund legal expenses associated with the DeBoer v. Snyder lawsuit. The DeBoer case represents a direct, effective and rapid means of securing marriage equality in Michigan and the trial is scheduled to kickoff soon.

The Pre-Benefit photoshoot will be held at the Jim Toy Community Center at 319 Braun Court, Ann Arbor, Michigan on

Saturday, January 25, 2014
between 11:00a.m. and 3:00p.m.

Attendees will hold signs showing their first names and the amount of time they’ve been together. Obtaining marriage equality in Michigan is about YOU, so please take time to come show your support!

More information, including how to buy tickets to the Equality Cabaret, is available here:


At the photoshoot, we will also have special supporter and benefactor tickets available for purchase, along with general admission seats.

If you cannot attend the photoshoot, but would like your family’s photo to be considered for the benefit, please email a high resolution photograph to kerene.moore@gmail.com. Don’t forget to include your names and the number of years you’ve been together!

To learn more about the family and the case or to donate on-line: http://www.michiganmarriagechallenge.com/

To donate directly to the cause: http://www.gofundme.com/marriageequalitymichigan

Equality Cabaret: Making Marriage Equality a Reality — Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1pm

Equality Cabaret: Making Marriage Equality a Reality

Presented by Jim Toy Community Center to benefit Michigan Marriage Challenge.

(From left) Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer with their children, Ryanne, 3, Nolan, 4 and Jacob, 3, in their Hazel Park home on March 6. The Oakland Press/VAUGHN GURGANIAN.

(From left) Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer with their children, Ryanne, 3, Nolan, 4 and Jacob, 3, in their Hazel Park home on March 6. The Oakland Press/VAUGHN GURGANIAN.

Sunday, February 23, 2014 1:00PM at the Ark in Ann Arbor.

Ticket prices:

  • $250 – Benefactor floor front row reserved-name on program and from the stage
  • $100 – Supporter reserved seating and name on program
  • $25 – General Admission

Purchase tickets here: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=8950eb5a29a3edcd1511ac30fa841cc8

PRESS RELEASE – Line-Up Announced:

 For immediate release: Line-Up Announced

Press contact: CYNTHIA DUNITZ 734-604-0396. cynthia@flemingartists.com

Equality Cabaret Making Marriage Equality a Reality

Jan. 22, 2014—Artists from Southeast MI are fighting to make marriage equality a reality in Michigan. In partnership with the Jim Toy Community Center, the artists have given their time and talent to raise critically needed funds for the DeBoer-Rowse Family to legally co-adopt their three children.  A benefit for the Michigan Marriage Challenge, presented by the Jim Toy Community Center will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 1pm at The ARK, 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, 734-761-1800.   Tickets:  $250 Benefactor – reserved seating house floor front & center, $100 Supporters – reserved seating house center and $25 General Admission. Tickets on sale at the Michigan Union Ticket Office 734-763-TKTS or online at https://www.vendini.com/ticketsoftware.html?t=tix&e=8950eb5a29a3edcd1511ac30fa841cc8

This benefit is an opportunity for supporters of marriage equality to help make it a reality. Emceed by U of M Professor Holly Hughes, the evening will feature artists, such as: singer songwriter Vienna Teng (viennateng.com/), folk duo Nervous But Excited in a greatly anticipated re-union (nervousbutexcited.com), Mr. B, Chris Good & the Sweet Insurrection, Eleni Kelakos, Mark Brown as Sylvia, Dueling Divas, Dawn Richberg & Vanessa Marr, Max Brown & Family, and Matt Rice.

Help the DeBoer-Rowse Family: Hazel Park lesbian couple April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are suing the state of Michigan for the right to legally wed and thereby co-adopt their three children. Their case represents a direct, effective and rapid means of securing marriage equality in Michigan.

The state licensed the two nurses as a couple to serve as foster parents of their three special needs children, but Michigan law allows only legally married couples to jointly adopt children.  This civil right, afforded all others in Michigan, is not available to the DeBoer-Rowse family due to Michigan’s constitutional ban on state recognition of same-sex couples.  Because they are prohibited by law to adopt jointly, Rowse adopted their two sons, and DeBoer their daughter.

A team of attorneys is working hard on the family’s case; however, bringing in expert witnesses to demonstrate to the court that same-sex couples are fit parents is expensive. The lawyers estimate the witnesses and other legal expenses could cost 500,000 to $700,000. Federal Judge Bernard A. Friedman, of the Eastern District of Michigan, will begin hearing evidence in DeBoer v. Snyder in late February. The team of attorneys includes Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Ken Mogill, Robert Sedler, and Mary Bonauto.

To learn more about the family and the case or to donate on-line: http://www.michiganmarriagechallenge.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/441179332649684/


Ann Arbor 4th of July Parade—March with us!

Join the Jim Toy Community Center and show your Pride in the Ann Arbor 4th of July Parade!


Bring your friends and family and not only show your Gay Pride but your American Pride as well because after all, We are American Families!

We will be lining up at 9am on Maynard Street between William and Jefferson!

Parade begins at 10am.

New Volunteer Orientation

The Jim Toy Community Center will be conducting two new volunteer orientation sessions:

  • Sunday, June 9 from 12pm-1pm
  • Tuesday, June 11 from 8pm-9pm

New volunteers only need to attend one session.

Jim Toy’s Birthday Bash—Save the date!

Pic from http://www.whisk-kid.com/2009/08/say-it-with-cake.html

On Friday, April 12, from 7 to 10pm we’re hosting a Jim Toy Birthday Bash and JTCC fundraiser at the Corner Brewery Lounge in Ypsilanti. Additional details are forthcoming, but the long and short of it is that this will be a social gathering to celebrate the birthday of our namesake and to fundraise for the Jim Toy Community Center to support its efforts in the pursuit of equality.

We hope to see you there!

Pic courtesy http://www.whisk-kid.com/2009/08/say-it-with-cake.html

Candidate Forum—Fri. Nov. 2, 6-7pm

Join us on Friday November 2nd from 6-7pm for a candidate forum for the Michigan 22nd Circuit Court – Washtenaw County. The event will be hosted by the Bar at 327 Braun Court.

Remember, the Circuit Court and other important judge elections are in the non-partisan section of the ballot, often at the bottom or on the back. Don’t forget to vote your entire ballot on November 6th!

Both Carol Kunhke and Jim Fink have been invited to participate in the forum. Jim Fink has declined to attend. 

Get out the Vote for Equality

With the election just around the corner, it is absolutely imperative, now more than ever, that we identify pro-LGBT voters and get them out to the polls. That’s what our new initiative called, Get Out the Vote for Equality, is all about. We need you to step up and help us stop the blatant attack on the rights of LGBT individuals. If we continue to stand by and do nothing, our rights will continue to deteriorate. That’s not something we can afford to lose.

Below is a volunteer form that we are asking you to fill out; there you’ll find dates and times of our volunteer events. Please sign up for at least one shift. The work of passionate volunteers in our community are why we’ve been so successful so far in our efforts but there’s still so much work to be done before the upcoming election and we need you. The work is not only rewarding but it’s a great way to meet community members with the same interests and passions as you. Will you join us? Again, the sign-up form is below. Please take the time look at the shifts and sign up!


Please contact Alex Ngo, our Outreach Intern, if you any questions whatsoever. Thank you!

AAFF: Out Night with Barbara Hammer—Mar. 28th @ 9:15pm

The Jim Toy Community Center is participating in the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival as a community partner for Out Night with Barbara Hammer, taking place Wednesday, March 28th @ 9:15pm at the Michigan Theater. If you enter this code –  *AAFF50JTCC* – when buying online tickets, you will get $3 off the advance ticket price ($10 standard)! This screening in the theater’s main auditorium is likely to draw a large audience, so advanced tickets and arriving early are recommended.

Synopsis of the Program

A celebration of historic and influential LGBTQ films, featuring trailblazing filmmaker Barbara Hammer in person with her films. Tina Takemoto’s video *Looking for Jiro* (2011), Ira Sachs’ 1994 film *Lady*, *Frank’s Cock* (1993) by Mike Hoolboom and *Jerovi*, a 1965 film by José Rodriguez-Soltero will also be presented.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. The 50th AAFF takes place March 27th – April 1st, 2012 and presents over 200 films, videos and live media performances from more than 20 countries with dozens of U.S., N. American and world premieres. For more info: http://aafilmfest.org/50

Lend Your Voice—Statussexy—Mar. 21 @ 6pm

Statussexy is the movement to address HIV in our community. Young black men ages 13-24 have the highest rates of new HIV infections, and this is happening right in our own backyard. Statussexy is a way to fight back. We’re coming together at Jim Toy on March 21 at 6pm to set a game plan.

The more voices, the better!

Where: Jim Toy Center, 319 Braun Court, Ann Arbor, MI

When: March 21 @ 6pm

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