LANSING, Mich. – The governor of Michigan signed legislation on Thursday that reaffirms legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include legal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
“Today, we are taking a long overdue step to ensure that no one can be fired from their job or evicted from their home because of who they are or how they identify,” Whitmer said. “Our LGBTQ+ friends, family, and neighbors deserve equal protection under the law so they can live their authentic lives, and I want everyone to know that Michigan is a place that will fight for your freedom to be yourself. Guaranteeing equal legal protections to LGBTQ+ Michiganders is the right thing to do. It’s also just good economics, which is why business groups from across our state stand with us. Getting this done will help attract and retain talent from across the nation, and I am proud that Michigan today is more free and fair than it was yesterday.”
The ELCRA was originally passed in 1976. It prohibits discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of those rights based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.
The changes made on Thursday mean the ELCRA now includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
“Today, we are building on decades of work by advocates, activists, and allies to deliver real change and send a message that you can be yourself in Michigan,” Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II said. “Expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to strengthen protections for sexual orientation and gender identity or expression will prevent Michiganders from being fired from their job or evicted from their home because of who they are or how they identify. It will recognize and reaffirm that Michigan is at its strongest when every individual is respected and empowered. Governor Whitmer and I will keep working hard to build a Michigan where everyone can thrive.”