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. Read more
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 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. Read more
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.
Democrats in Lansing have introduced legislation that would add LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law.
Legislation that would add LGBT protections to Michigan’s anti-discrimination law will probably have to wait until after the November election.
The list of groups calling on state lawmakers to pass protections for LGBT people is growing. Organizations representing Michigan college, university, and school officials now say they support the measure.
Support continues to grow across the state for sexual orientation and gender identity protections in the workplace. Read more