West Michigan Pride highlights divided state

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Thousands of people took to Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids for West Michigan Pride Saturday.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse were the grand marshals in the parade.

The couple filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan that resulted in a federal judge overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and ruled the law was unconstitutional.

DeBoer and Rowse originally sued the state to overturn Michigan’s ban on joint adoptions by gay couples.

“We didn’t set out to be an inspiration for anybody. We set out to make sure our kids had equal rights. We’re honored that we’ve inspired so many,” said DeBoer.

Not everyone at Calder Plaza Saturday was there in support of same-sex rights.

Christine Weick, the woman who had a slushy thrown on her on Mother’s Day while she stood on a corner in Grandville with a sign that read “Thank your mom today for not being gay,” was at Calder Plaza

The sign she had with her Saturday read “Warning, God draws a line on gay marriage.”

“Understand that I’m not yelling. It isn’t about hate. It is a warning. I love you enough to tell you the truth. It is amazing the conversations that do come out of standing here,” Weick said.

In an EPIC-MRA poll that came out on May 28, 47 percent of people said they would vote for a hypothetical ballot proposal to allow same-sex marriage in Michigan while 46 percent of people polled said they would oppose it.

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