Michigan governor signs order banning LGBTQ discrimination by state government agencies

Newly sworn-in Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has signed an executive directive that will prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people by state government agencies, contractors and service providers.

Monday's signing of the directive by Whitmer, who took office Jan. 1, occurred at a LGBTQ community center in the Detroit area, according to The Associated Press.

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The directive also clarifies and strengthens existing prohibitions against LGBTQ people working in state government, the news service reported.

“If we're going to attract the talented workforce our businesses need to create jobs and grow our economy, then we’ve got to get on the right side of history,” Whitmer said in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press. “That’s what this executive directive is all about."

The directive requires recipients of state contracts, grants and loans to extend protections against discrimination to all employees, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Whitmer’s move is being widely praised by LGBTQ advocates and civil rights groups.

“In one of her first actions as governor, pro-equality champion Gretchen Whitmer has extended long overdue non-discrimination protections to members of the LGBTQ community,” Human Rights Campaign Michigan State Director Amritha Venkataraman said in a press release. “These executive actions are an important step forward in the fight against discrimination, but there’s more work to be done.”