LGBT rights push falls short in Michigan

LGBT rights push falls short in Michigan
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The Michigan elections bureau on Friday announced that a ballot drive effort to protect LGBT people from discrimination has failed.

The Associated Press reported that Fair and Equal Michigan failed to collect enough valid signatures to force action on a bill aimed to prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.  

Advocates collected nearly 299,000 signatures, falling short of the roughly 340,000 needed.


Some signatures were ruled ineligible after the elections bureau found them to be linked to people who weren't registered voters. The bureau also detected other issues, including ones associated with addresses or dates, according to the AP.

"The Bureau of Elections threw out thousands of signatures that are valid and we will fight for every valid signature so no voters are disenfranchised," Josh Hovey, a spokesman for Fair and Equal Michigan, told the news outlet.

The Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet Tuesday to consider a recommendation against certifying the ballot initiative.

If the initiative were certified, it would be put before state lawmakers. Similar pro-LGBT measures have been long stalled in the Republican-led legislature, the AP reported.

If passed, the measure would be Michigan's first LGBT rights law, Fair and Equal Michigan said.