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Christians that are suing Gov. Whitmer have a history of LGBTQ discrimination, plus one Pastor in the lawsuit is the father of Rep. Lee Chatfield

May 8, 2020

Michigan Gov. Whitmer now has several lawsuits leveled against her by people and organizations that are not in favor of the Stay-at-Home order. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield submitted a lawsuit on Wednesday, which we just wrote about.  In addition, a group of Christians have also submitted a lawsuit against Michigan’s Governor.

Earlier this week, several Christian churches, some pastors and a Christian law firm began a lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer, because they believe she is violating their right to religious assembly. 

The Great Lakes Justice Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of the following plaintiffs:  

Word of Faith Christian Center Church, a Southfield nonprofit that operates other churches and Bible training centers; Word of Faith Christian Center Church Bishop Keith Butler; Michigan Association of Christian Schools Director Timothy Schmig; Sturgis-based Whole Life Church; Whole Life Chirch Pastor Chuck Vizthum; and Northern Michigan Baptist Bible Church Pastor Stanley Chatfield III, who also served as am Emmett County Republican delegate in 2018.

These are the plaintiff’s listed, as was reported by MLive. Unfortunately, there were several important omissions from the MLive story.

First, there is no mention that the Great Lakes Justice Center, which filed the lawsuit, has a long history of defending religious groups that actively discriminate against the LGBTQ community. A Lansing-based news source, City Pulse, reported on one example  and the ACLU has documented other cases against the Great Lakes Justice Center.  The Great Lakes Justice Center is part of group Salt & Light Global, which was founded by William Wagner. Salt & Light Global embraces a far right political and religious worldview. The “Resources” section on their homepage is a who’s who of far right religious groups, including the Federalist Society, Hillsdale College, Wall Builders, the Discovery Institute and the Acton Institute.

The other major omission in the MLive article is the fact that the pastor of the Northern Michigan Baptists Church, pastor Chatfield, is actually the father of Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield. Rep. Lee Chatfield also filed a lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer, along with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. 

These omissions from the MLive story are not marginal. The public has a right to know these basic facts about groups like the Great Lakes Justice Center and the churches that have filled a lawsuit that alleges the Governor is violating their right to religious assembly.

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