Openly gay former news anchor Charles
Pugh will be Detroit's first gay candidate.
self-proclaimed “Detroitaholic” is running for a seat on Detroit
City Council after stepping down from an anchor post at Fox 2.
Pugh first announced his sexuality on
air in 2004.
“I didn't know what would happen, but
at that point it didn't matter to me because I knew it was the right
thing to do,” Pugh told the AP.
After coming out, Pugh's celebrity has
only increased. While he acknowledges that being gay adds a wrinkle
to his candidacy, Pugh says he believes most Detroiters will give him
a fair shake.
“I think there will be people who
grumble about it and some people who may stay away from voting for me
because of that, but I think Detroiters already know me. I believe
Detroiters are open-minded, hardworking people who really do accept
people who are different.”
“I'm focused on bringing a level of
class and dignity and respect for the job that Detroiters want,”
The announcement comes on the heels of
a new study that shows growing support for gay and lesbian rights
among Michigan voters.
The poll, conducted by the
Chicago-based Glengariff Group and released last week, shows stunning
gains for gay unions: A large majority (75%) support civil unions for
gay and lesbian couples, while 47% back gay marriage. In 2004, only
24% of Michigan voters agreed with granting gay couples marriage
Pugh was raised by his grandmother
after his mother's murder in 1974 at the age of 3 and his father's
suicide four years later.
Despite such devastating tragedy, Pugh
went on to graduate from the University of Missouri's School of
Journalism on an academic scholarship.
“I'm a Detroitaholic!!!,” Pugh says
on his MySpace page. “I can't help it. I was born and raised
here and I'm not MOVING.”