Human Rights Campaign Applauds Michigan Senate for Bipartisan Passage of Civil Rights Law That Guarantees Protections for LGBTQ+ People

by HRC Staff

Bill Passed with Bipartisan Vote of 23 in Favor, Now Heads to Michigan House

Lansing, MICHIGAN — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — commends the Michigan Senate for passing an amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) that explicitly includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 23 in favor, and now heads to the Michigan House for consideration - where it is expected to also pass.

Currently 29 states – including Michigan – do not have laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. While the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the existing nondiscrimination provisions in ELCRA include protections for LGBTQ+ people, this decision could be reversed by a future court ruling if not codified into law.

Human Rights Campaign Michigan State Director Amritha Venkataraman released the following statement:

“We’re so incredibly excited about guaranteed protections for LGBTQ+ people in Michigan becoming a reality. The Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act amendment is a historic bill that was only made possible due to years of grassroots organizing together with our allies and partners. We can all celebrate today’s step toward progress - we celebrate with the volunteers who knocked on thousands of doors during the midterm elections, with the lawmakers who have been pushing for progress for years, with Michigan voters who elected the first pro-equality legislature in decades, and with organizations like Equality Michigan and ACLU Michigan.
“We encourage the Michigan House to pass this bill as soon as possible and ensure that every Michigander is protected under the law, including LGBTQ+ people.”

Earlier this month, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson, Equality Michigan Executive Director Erin Knott, and ACLU of Michigan Legislative Director Merissa Kovach joined bill sponsor and State Senator Jeremy Moss, advocates, and business leaders to speak about the decades of grassroots organizing to amend ELCRA.

In the 2022 midterm elections, mobilization efforts of the Hate Won’t Win coalition, made up of Equality Michigan, HRC, ACLU, community centers and other organizations across the state, helped re-elect Governor Whitmer and elect a pro-equality legislative majority, resulting in movement on the ELCRA amendment for the first time in 40 years.

With nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ people having reported experiencing discrimination in their personal lives, the amended ELCRA would guarantee that LGBTQ+ Michiganders are extended the same nondiscrimination protections that other Michiganders have enjoyed for decades. According to a recent poll by the Glengariff Group, 74% of likely Michigan voters support the updated ELCRA and its LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination protections.

This support reflects the broad and growing support mirrored in communities across the country. Recent polling from PRRI finds that 8 in 10 Americans favor laws that protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing (including 67% of Republicans).

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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