Orlando shooting response goes viral

Detroit News staff

Democratic state Rep. Jeremy Moss of Southfield, one of two openly gay members of the Michigan Legislature, channeled his frustration over last weekend’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida into a tweet heard ’round the world.

Moss

“I literally never want to hear again that LGBT people in the bathroom are a threat to public safety,” Moss wrote Sunday on Twitter, referencing the national debate over transgender bathroom use and Michigan legislation that would limit access.

The social media commentary went viral, generating more than 78,000 retweets and 88,000 likes as of Wednesday morning.

The Washington Post highlighted it in a Sunday round-up of politician responses to the Florida shooting, called an “act of terror” by President Barack Obama, juxtaposing Moss’ message with a tweet from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Moss told The Detroit News the tweet was inspired by a Sunday morning breakfast conversation with his boyfriend. Moss attended the weekend Motor City Pride festival in Detroit and had celebrated at St. Andrew’s Hall the night of the Orlando shooting.

“It could have happened at the club I was at,” Moss said. “…We’re the ones that are targets of violence and hatred and threats, and I serve with Republicans who want to paint the picture just the opposite, that somehow it’s the LGBT community that is full of predators and wanting to do harm.”

Moss’ tweet won praise – singer-songwriter John Legend was among those who retweeted him – but also pushback from critics who said he was not accurately describing their concerns with transgender-friendly bathroom policies.

“LGBT people are not the threat,” Twitter user amazinarreckk wrote in response. “Predators who can use the law to commit crime are.”

Moss said Wednesday that existing laws already prohibit the kind of behavior that some suggest transgender bathroom access could encourage, regardless of a perpetrator’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“You cannot go into the bathroom and molest someone, and anyone who points to these kind of laws as something that’s needed, rest assured we already have them in place,” he said.

Schuette, Whitmer meet

For at least the next six months, Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer are going to be working together as Whitmer leads the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.

After that, all bets are off as the two veteran Michigan politicians decide whether to seek the governor’s office in 2018, a race that is expected to begin in earnest in early 2017.

Whitmer

Whitmer, a former Senate Democratic leader, will become Ingham County’s interim prosecutor on July 2, taking over for the scandal-plagued outgoing Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III, whom Schuette is prosecuting for allegedly frequenting prostitutes.

On Wednesday afternoon, Whitmer and Schuette met to discuss the Dunnings case. The East Lansing Democrat confirmed the meeting to a Detroit News reporter as she was about to walk into Schuette’s office inside the Williams Building in Lansing.

Whitmer said she reached out to Schuette to forge cooperation after the Ingham County Circuit Court judges appointed her to serve out the remaining six months of Dunnings’ term.

Schuette called back eight hours later and agreed to meet, Whitmer said.

Trump aide: ‘We can win this state’

The head of Donald Trump’s campaign in Michigan said Monday the presumptive Republican nominee is in a “statistical dead heat” with Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Great Lakes State.

Trump state director Scott Hagerstrom spoke Monday night to a group of Republican activists at a Michigan Conservative Coalition meeting at the Uptown Grille restaurant in Commerce Township.

Hagerstrom cited a statewide poll released last month to The Detroit News and WDIV-TV showing Clinton leading Trump by just over 4 percentage points — the survey’s margin of error — 43 percent to Trump’s 38.5 percent.

“We can win this state,” Hagerstrom said.

No Republican presidential has carried Michigan and won the state’s 16 electoral votes since then-Vice President George H.W. Bush’s 1988 victory over Democrat Michael Dukakis.

Trump’s campaign has targeted Michigan as a Democratic-leaning state they can get in their column in the November general election. “We cannot sit by and let this chance go by,” Hagerstrom said.

On the same day Trump publicly revoked press credentials for all reporters from The Washington Post, Hagerstrom said his media-savvy boss has been maligned by the mainstream media after months of relentless news coverage.

“We’re not only battling crooked Hillary, but we’re battling a lot of what the media is reporting and their narrative,” said Hagerstrom, adopting Trump’s nickname for Clinton.

Contributors: Chad Livengood and Jonathan Oosting