Chairperson's Farewell Message

Greetings Fellow Section Members and Friends:

As we gather here in the Renaissance City of Detroit for the State Bar Annual Meeting, I look back on the past year and the incredible accomplishments achieved with the new LGBTQA Section.  Our section was approved in August 2016 and a dedicated group of now Section members worked hand in hand with the State Bar of Michigan staff to create this new entity.  We had our first Organizing Meeting on January 4 and elected our Council and Executive Committee. Several committees were formed in many practice areas representing our diverse practice areas.  We held Council Meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, convening in Lansing, Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids, as well as a "meet and greet" cocktail hour at Mission Pointe Resort on Mackinac Island during the Family Law Section summer meeting.  In connection with the Family Law Section, we co-produced a Journal addressing LGBTQA legal issues and emerging laws impacting our clients and our practices.  In June, we enjoyed a social evening at the Detroit Tigers in Comerica Park where an exciting 6th inning rally nearly clinched the game for our home team.  Emphasis on "nearly"...Our Section was in recess for the rest of the summer, anticipating this Annual Meeting and a reunion with friends from around the state and our second year as a Section.  I wanted to express my gratitude for everyone who made this first year a success including many staff members at the SBM, particularly my best friend at SBM Candace Crowley who answered a million of my questions and always got me to the right person for the job.  Thank you to our Council members including Susan Klooz, Peter Kulas-Dominguez, Meri Anne Stowe, Laura Volkmann, Tim Cordes, Lori Frank, Doug Meeks, and our new Chairperson Judge Richard Halloran.

While my term as Section Chairperson ends today, I am committed to continue as an active member of this Section as we educate fellow lawyers and judges and improve our respective practices for the public whom we serve.

Respectfully and in gratitude,

Richard A. Roane, Founding Chairperson

September 28, 2017


Report of Nominations Committee - Election of Three Council Vacancies - 9/28/17

Three open Council positions are to be filled in our election on Sept. 28, 2017 during our business meeting commencing at 2:00 pm.  The nominations committee nominates Council members Tim Cordes and Douglas Meeks for  three year terms.  One additional position is available and nominations may be made from the floor - nominee must be present and provide an oral  statement of interest.


To review law, cases, regulations, and other legal matters that affect lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning, and allies of this State and to promote the fair and just administration of those laws.

Proposed Bylaws

View the bylaws PDF  and for this new section.

Statement of Necessity

In less than a dozen years, Michigan has undergone a dramatic shift in its approach to the rights of its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender citizens. Much of this change has focused on the definition of what makes a “family,” but there have also been significant changes in local anti-discrimination ordinances, hate-crime statutes, and public accommodations for transgender people.

Some have been initiated within Michigan, and some have resulted from huge shifts in federal law. It is difficult to overstate these changes, or to easily grasp their pervasive effect on Michigan law and precedent. These changes have fundamental repercussions on disparate areas throughout our statutes in laws related to intestate succession, adoption, criminal immunities, and many more.

The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges invalidated the 2005 amendment to Article I Section 25 of the Michigan Constitution - limiting marriage to one man and one woman - which was passed in a referendum by most Michiganders. Since that amendment, many Michigan statutes have been enacted, and many directly touch on marriage and family. In 2009-2010 there were nearly 250 Bills introduced in the Michigan Legislature that included the word “spouse,” and in 2012, our statutes contained nearly 150 references to “husband” or “wife.”

To ensure consistency within Michigan law and conformity to federal rulings, our proposed section will research and identify areas of our laws that may need revisions or updates, and will seek to educate the public and members of our legal community in how our clients may be affected as laws and new precedents develop.



Upcoming Events

Greetings Section Members:

Pursuant to our ByLaws, the Nomination Committee will be meeting a week before our upcoming Annual Meeting in Detroit on Sept. 28 at 2 pm for the purpose of considering section members' interest in running for Council.  We have three Council Member positions open for election.  If any of you are interested in one of the three open terms, please submit a very brief letter of interest via email to me at rroane@wnj.com no later than September 20.  The Nominations Committee consisting of our Chair Elect, Judge Richard Halloran, our Secretary/Treasurer Tim Cordes, Council Members Meri Anne Stowe and Susan Klooz and the undersigned, will be considering nominations for our slate that we will present via this website on Monday, September 25.  Nominations are also allowed from the floor at the Annual Meeting.

Thank you for your consideration and participation.

Richard A. Roane, Chairperson, LGBTQA Section

Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP


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