State Watch

Michigan passes bill giving civil rights protections to LGBTQ people

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during Election Night, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 in Detroit.

Lawmakers in Michigan have passed a bill to expand civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community, with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) expected to sign the measure into law when it reaches her desk.

The vote in the Democratic-led state House on Wednesday, which passed the bill with a 64-45 margin, would codify protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and other areas. 

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act comes after the state’s Supreme Court last year ruled that state law currently provides protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The new bill would make it illegal for someone to fire or evict someone based on their sexual orientation.

Eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the legislation, which comes as Republican-led states have passed a slew of bills that limit the freedoms of LGBTQ Americans. Lawmakers in states including South Dakota, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas are currently considering further anti-transgender measures.

But Whitmer said the bill in Michigan would be an opportunity to expand protections to that community.

“I’m celebrating trans women who have continuously led the way, despite constant threats to their lives and liberty,” she said on Twitter Wednesday. “I’m proud that we’re finally in a position to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect LGBTQ+ Michiganders.”

Republicans in Michigan who opposed the legislation argued that it would threaten the freedoms of religious organizations and institutions and offered amendments to address those concerns, but were ultimately rejected.

Tags Gretchen Whitmer Gretchen Whitmer LGBTQ rights Michigan

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