It looks unlikely that a proposal to allow the death penalty in Michigan will go anywhere this term. Continue reading
More than 300 gay and lesbian couples in Michigan are legally married now that Governor Rick Snyder has decided not to contest a court order. It says the state has to recognize the marriages that took place last spring.
Governor Rick Snyder says improving services for the mentally ill is a major civil rights issue. And he says it’s a high priority in his second term.
The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) failed to pass before the legislative session ended last year. Continue reading
Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban will be one of four the U-S Supreme Court will consider to decide the issue for the nation. Continue reading
A federal judge says the state must recognize the marriages of 300 gay and lesbian couples. They were married last year during a one-day window in Michigan when it was legal.
The US Supreme Court could decide tomorrow (Fri.) whether a challenge to same-sex marriage bans in Michigan and three other states will get a hearing.
This holiday season two very different religious beliefs will be on display at the state capitol in Lansing.
Coercing someone to have an abortion would carry tougher penalties under bills approved by the state Senate on Thursday. Continue reading
The state House has approved a bill that is supposed to protect people exercising their sincerely held religious beliefs from government interference. Continue reading
One took place on the campus of CMU today.
A crowd of more than 70 students gathered to show solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson. Students held signs and chanted things like , “Hands up, don’t shoot!”.
Kim Raymond, a senior at CMU, attended the protest.
She said, “I think it’s sad but seeing all the violent protests in Ferguson I think that’s even sadder. I feel like they should practice non-violence like Martin Luther King did and not light things on fire or hurt people.”
CMU Senior Hannah Mollett helped organize the protest.
She said she’d like to see a couple of changes in society.
“I think one is underlying racist culture. I think that the exponential amount of young black boys and men that are killed by police in this country is absolutely disgusting. I also think that relates back to violence and gun violence in our culture, the police misuse of power, so I think it’s kind of a combination of factors.”
Another protest also took place in front the University Center on campus later in the afternoon.
The family of Michael Brown and President Obama have called for protests to be peaceful in the wake of the verdict.
Supporters of adding LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law say they have enough votes in the Legislature to pass a bill before the end of the year. But they say that’s only if Republican leaders take up a version of the bill that includes protections for gender identity. Continue reading
A coalition of business and civil rights groups is still optimistic state lawmakers this year will make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT people.
A federal judge has struck down a Michigan law that denies employer-sponsored benefits to many public employees in same-sex relationships.
A debate is shaping up in the Michigan House on whether Michigan’s civil rights law should be expanded to protect gays, lesbians, and bisexuals from discrimination. There’s also a fight brewing on whether those protections should extent to transgender people.
There’s no decision yet on whether the Legislature will take up amending the state’s civil rights law before the session ends in six weeks or less. It’s not clear the votes are there to add LGBT protections to the law. Continue reading
Attorney General Bill Schuette and the couple trying to overturn Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage are on opposite sides of the case. But they’ve agreed they will cooperate in trying to get the case on the US Supreme Court docket during the current session. Continue reading
A federal appeals court has upheld same-sex marriage bans in Michigan and three other Midwestern states. Now, the plaintiffs in the Michigan case say they’re ready to take the question to the US Supreme Court.
Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that’s supposed to protect victims of human trafficking from criminal charges. One of the new laws shields children who are trafficked from prostitution charges.
Groups that support adding LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law say they’re confident state lawmakers will act this year. That’s despite some recent setbacks.
State House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, says he wants to make sure the measure doesn’t infringe on religious liberties. And people working closely on the issue say some Republican lawmakers don’t want to include transgender people in the legislation.
ACLU of Michigan Director Kary Moss appeared this week on the Michigan Public Television program Off the Record. She says the business groups pushing for the measure do not have any interest in removing gender identity from the legislation.
“There’s not been debate in the business coalition,” said Moss. “All the members of the coalition agreed to support including both sexual orientation and gender identity. And I think too much has been made of the opinions of a few people who have been concerned about it.”
She said supporters’ focus is squarely on getting the measure passed during the Legislature’s “lame duck” session in December.
“The business community has come together in an unprecedented way. I think that’s created a lot of momentum. I think we’ve had a lot of Republicans who have indicated that the time is now and right and they’re supportive of it.”
Under current state law, people can be fired, denied employment, or denied housing because they are gay or transgender.
The Essence of Emmet historical society is gearing up for its annual lecture event, this year they’re talking about tribal reaffirmation.
Democrats in Lansing have introduced legislation that would add LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law.
By Jake Neher
The state Legislature returns Tuesday after a two month summer break.
Republican leaders still have some big priorities to accomplish before the end of the year. None are bigger than finding a way to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.
But it looks like that and other major bills will have to wait until the Legislature’s “lame duck” session in December. Top lawmakers say they do notexpect many major votes between now and the November election.