Michigan lawmakers approve LGBTQ+ protections in civil rights law | State

Michigan lawmakers approve LGBTQ+ protections in civil rights law | State

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) – Michigan lawmakers are adding additional protections for the LGBTQ+ community in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

The Michigan House and Senate voted Wednesday to add language to the civil rights law to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other groups from discrimination.

“Every Michigander deserves to be treated with dignity and respect under the law,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “I’ve been calling for changes to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to strengthen legal protections for our LGBTQ+ community for years, and I am proud that we are finally getting it done.”

She said the bill, which she intends to sign into law soon, would protect the LGBTQ+ community from being fired from their jobs or evicted from their homes based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This is about doing the right thing, and it is just good economics,” Whitmer said. “Bigotry is bad for business, and ensuring these protections will build on our reputation as a beacon of opportunity where anyone can succeed.”

Republicans opposed the additional LGBTQ+ protections because Democrats rejected amendments to the bill that would have provided religious liberty protections.

Republican State Rep. Brian BeGole of Shiawassee County's Antrim Township said other states who provided similar civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ residents also took religious freedom into account.

“Democrats in Michigan are crafting one of the country's most extreme, anti-religious plans for the sake of supposed inclusion,” he said. “I’m proud of my Catholic beliefs and represent many people whose religion is extremely important to them. They are incredibly worried about what these plans mean for them and an unwillingness by Democrats to listen.”

The bills are heading to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk; she is expected to sign them into law.


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