Category Archives: Civil Rights

ACLU of Michigan director denies major roadblocks for LGBT rights in Legislature

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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.

Roads, pot, civil rights on agenda as state lawmakers return from summer break

By Jake Neher

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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.

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Judge hears arguments over recognizing 300 same-sex marriages in Michigan

Lead plaintiffs Glenna DeJong (l) and Marsha Caspar (center) join Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (r) outside the federal court building in Detroit on Thursday.  DeJong and Caspar were the first same-sex couple to get married in Michigan. Byrum officiated their wedding.”

Lead plaintiffs Glenna DeJong (l) and Marsha Caspar (center) join Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (r) outside the federal court building in Detroit on Thursday. DeJong and Caspar were the first same-sex couple to get married in Michigan. Byrum officiated their wedding.”

Some 300 same-sex couples in Michigan are waiting to hear whether a federal judge will force the state to recognize their marriages. Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments on Thursday from attorneys for the state and for the same-sex couples.
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6th Circuit combines hearing on marriage cases

Challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Michigan and three other states will be argued in a single afternoon later this summer before the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The Michigan arguments are being combined with cases out of Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
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Legislative leaders say civil rights law update can get done in ’14

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe)

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe)

The Legislature’s Republican leaders say they think the state’s civil rights law can be updated to cover lesbian, gay, and transgender people before the end of the year. Last week, Governor Rick Snyder called on the Legislature to take up the question.
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