Matt Robison

Matt Robison pic

March 2, 1974 – March 8, 2016

Matthew William Robison came from Erie, Pennsylvania in the early 1990s to attend the University of Michigan, where he was active in the Queer Unity Project.  After earning degrees in psychology and social change from UM, he went to Stanford for his J.D. and later worked as an attorney for the ACLU in New York City.  Robison returned to his native state and remained involved in LGBTQ+ activism.

Erie Times-News, April 10, 2016

Clif Levin

Clif Levin pic

November 17, 1947 – July 9, 2019

Clifford Alan “Clif” Levin graduated with the class of 1965 from Oak Park High School, earned his B.A. at Wayne State, and went on to receive his law degree there.  In 1973 he began a 30-year career with the Wayne County Friend of the Court.  Lemon served on the boards of the Triangle Foundation and the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus.  He was also active in community theater in Grosse Pointe.

Between The Lines, July 25, 2019

David Balas

David Balas pic

January 16, 1952 – October 1, 2019

Arts supporter, benefactor, and retired attorney David Lyle Balas was born in Mt. Clemens, graduated from University Liggett High School, and attended universities in Ohio.  He worked with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and served on the East Lansing City Council as an openly gay member from 1983 to 1995.  Balas and his future husband Jim Sellman moved to Saugatuck in 2003 and wed in 2015.

Between The Lines, October 17, 2019

Jenifer Kohout

Jenifer Kohout pic

April 15, 1964 – July 23, 2018

Jenifer Anne Kohout grew up on Air Force bases throughout the U.S. and overseas.  After finishing her Bachelor’s at Duke, she earned an M.S. in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the UM Law School.  In the 1990s, Kohout was an occasional columnist for Between The Lines.  She later enjoyed a rich career in Alaska.  Kohout was survived by her spouse Karen Komopacki.

Washington Post, August 7, 2018

Jack Birkinsha

January 22, 1940 – December 18, 2001

Jack Birkinsha of Byron Center was a Kansas native, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and retired from the Great American Life Insurance Company.  As an attorney in Detroit in the late 1970s, Birkinsha served as a trustee for the monthly paper Metro Gay News and, as a member of the Committee for Gay Rights, helped push for the city’s Omnibus Human Rights Ordinance.

St. Joseph News-Press, December 25, 2001

Adrian Vincent

adrian vincent pic

May 21, 1948 – September 12, 2013

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Adrian Vincent practiced law in East Lansing and Chicago.  As a longtime resident of Douglas, He was involved with the Saugatuck/Douglas Historical Society and enjoyed skiing, sailing, and cycling.  Vincent was survived by his partner Thomas Staniszewski.

Lansing State Journal, September 18, 2013

Lenore Simon

lenore simon pic

December 31, 1950 – October 26, 2011

Saginaw resident Lenore Simon was born in Chicago and earned her JD from Creighton University Law School in Omaha. Nebraska.  In addition to practicing law as an attorney and mediator for more than 20 years, Simon co-founded a queer theater company Center in Monterey, California in the early 1990s and later continued the troupe in Las Vegas.  She and her partner Connie Hoffman were married in 2009.

Lesbian Connection, March/April 2012

Jeff Kucharski

Jeff Kucharski pic

January 13, 1964 – October 25, 1995

Jeffry Florian Kucharski of Dearborn earned a piano scholarship to Wayne State University.  He later received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the Wayne State Law School.  Kucharski worked as helpline coordinator at Affirmations Community Center and enjoyed traveling with his partner of 12 years Tom Wilczak.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.

Between The Lines, December 1995

Between The Lines, December 1996

Patricia Eames

Patricia Eames pic

December 25, 1929 – February 7, 2017

Lawyer, professor, and labor activist Patricia Eames earned her BA. at Reed College, her M.A. from Columbia, and her J.D. from Yale Law School.  In the 1980s, she served as general counsel for Wayne State University.  While in Detroit she and her life partner Connie Hart were active with the Forum Foundation and SEMGLA, the South East Michigan Gay/Lesbian Association.

Reed Magazine, 2017

Charles Casper

Charles Casper pic

February 3, 1938 – June 28, 2011

At age 21, Charles Casper was among nearly three dozen men entrapped by police in a crackdown on homosexual activity at the University of Michigan in late 1959 and early 1960.  He earned his B.A. at UM and went on to receive a J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.  As an attorney, Casper practiced law in his hometown of LaGrange, Illinois.

Chicago Tribune, July 21, 2011