Michigan Supreme Court Rules That State Anti-Discrimination Law Protects LGBTQ+ People, Marking Historic Progress for Civil Rights

by HRC Staff

"The Michigan Supreme Court Ruled Not Only in Favor of Equality, But They Ruled in Favor of Human Decency and Rightful Progress"

DETROIT – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — applauds the Michigan Supreme Court for ruling, in a 5-2 opinion, that the state’s non-discrimination law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, includes sexual orientation. The court’s analysis also supported a lower court’s opinion that the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The case brought before the court - Rouch World LLC et al v Michigan Department of Civil Rights et al, - originated when the event space Rouch World declined to allow a same-sex couple to celebrate their marriage at the venue. Within the same year, another business declined to provide a service to a transgender woman.

According to a recent PRRI study, 79% of Americans favor laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. And 66% of Americans oppose religiously based refusals to serve gay and lesbian people.

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

“This is a day of immense pride and celebration. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled not only in favor of equality, but they ruled in favor of human decency and rightful progress. Their decision marks a historic milestone in the advancement toward equal protection under the law for everyone in Michigan - regardless of who you love or how you identify. During a year when LGBTQ+ people have faced relentless attacks on our rights across the country - we recognize the relief and joy this ruling will bring to thousands of people whose right to receive a haircut or be served in a coffee shop, is now assured. There may be more work to do tomorrow, but this is a victory to celebrate today.”

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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