Michigan adds LGBTQ protections to anti-discrimination law | News, Sports, Jobs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed legislation codifying LGBTQ protections into state civil rights law, permanently prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender. gender identity in the state.

The legislation follows a state Supreme Court ruling last year that Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and Gender-based education also extended to sexual orientation.

Whitmer’s signing on Thursday ensures that the High Court’s decision cannot be overturned in the future and goes even further in extending protections to include gender identity or expression. It comes at a time, Whitmer said, when there’s “a national attack on our LGBTQ-plus community, especially our trans neighbors, family and friends.”

“There are state legislatures across this country dedicated to legalizing discrimination,” Whitmer said. “In Michigan, we will continue to expand freedoms and make progress on the issues that really make a difference in people’s lives.”

Democrats took full control of state government this year for the first time in 40 years and worked quickly to undo decades of Republican action. The Michigan Legislature proposed the repeal of the state’s “Right to Work” law earlier this week. On Thursday, the Senate passed a package of 11 gun safety bills.

Michigan was previously one of 29 states that lacked laws explicitly protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, according to gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, and Michigan Democrats have made it a top priority. this year after seeing the effort blocked by Republicans for years.

Michigan’s House and Senate passed LGBTQ protections earlier this month, with the vast majority of Republicans voting in opposition, saying it could infringe on the rights of religious groups.

The bill’s sponsor, Jeremy Moss, the state’s first openly gay senator, said Thursday that changing the state’s civil rights law to include LGBTQ protections took 40 years to prepare. “This relay has been passed down from generation to generation,” he said.

The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act also prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, family status, and marital status. .

Former Republican Rep. Mel Larsen, who helped draft the Civil Rights Act alongside Democratic Rep. Daisy Elliott in 1976, attended the bill signing in Lansing and said “the original intent , and the intent always, is that every Michigan citizen has the right to be protected under the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

The anti-discrimination legislation also comes at a time when LGBTQ rights advocates say Republican-led states across the country are trying to erase the legal existence of trans people and restrict the expression of those who are non-binary, gender fluid, or who play drag.

Earlier this month, Tennessee became the first state to dramatically limit drag show performances as other Republican-run states consider similar measures. A growing number of states have also banned, or are considering banning, gender-affirming medical care for young people.

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