LGBT

Supporters of a religious freedom bill in the state Legislature are pushing back against recent criticism. The legislation is meant to protect religious practices against state and local government interference.

Opponents of House Bill 5958 say it would make it easier for people and businesses to discriminate. For example, they claim emergency medical workers could legally refuse to treat LGBT people.

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LGBT activists ready to “blow up” civil rights bill if it ignores gender identity

Supporters of adding LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law say they have enough votes in the Legislature to pass a bill before the end of the year. But they say that’s only if Republican leaders take up a version of the bill that includes protections for gender identity.

Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber
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State lawmakers are down to their last nine days of work before the lame duck session ends December 18th.  The Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber is calling for a plan to fix the roads, and an update to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.


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A debate is shaping up in the Michigan House on whether Michigan's civil rights law should be expanded to protect gays, lesbians, and bisexuals from discrimination. There's also a fight brewing on whether those protections should extent to transgender people.


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ACLU of Michigan director denies major roadblocks for LGBT rights in Legislature

Groups that support adding LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law say they’re confident state lawmakers will act this year. That’s despite some recent setbacks.

State House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, says he wants to make sure the measure doesn’t infringe on religious liberties. And people working closely on the issue say some Republican lawmakers don’t want to include transgender people in the legislation.

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Vote on LGBT rights not likely before November election

Legislation that would add LGBT protections to Michigan’s anti-discrimination law will probably have to wait until after the November election.

Some supporters of the measure hoped lawmakers would take it up before voters go to the polls in November. But the bill has not even been introduced yet.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, says he wants to take up the issue. Be he does not expect to hold a vote until the Legislature’s “lame duck” session.

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Education groups join calls for LGBT rights in Michigan

The list of groups calling on state lawmakers to pass protections for LGBT people is growing. Organizations representing Michigan college, university, and school officials now say they support the measure.

They join more than 50 business and non-profit groups urging lawmakers to pass the legislation, which the coalition expects to be introduced next month.

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Michigan could soon ban gay "conversion therapy" for minors.

State Representative Adam Zemke from Ann Arbor introduced a bill last week that would prohibit health professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18.

Sandi Smith is the president of the Jim Toy Center, a resource for Washtenaw County's LGBT community.

She says they are glad lawmakers are moving this issue forward.

michigan.gov

The local LGBT community is hopeful the state legislature will take Governor Rick Snyder up on his challenge for them to vote on civil rights protections for the LGBT community before the November elections.

Mary Larkin directs Eastern Michigan University's LGBT Resource Center.  She says EMU's LGBT students are a talented bunch who can't wait to get out of Michigan because of the state's outdated civil rights laws. 

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  Ann Arbor's Jim Toy Community Center is applauding Michigan business leaders for pushing for changes to state law to protect against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Center President Sandi Smith says under current state law, a person can be fired because they're gay or transgendered. 

The Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition has been pushing state legislators to make changes in the law to prevent that kind of workplace bias. 

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The waiting continues for same-sex couples who'd like to marry in Michigan.

A judge is expected to rule soon on whether the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage should be overturned. 

Mary Larkin is Director of Eastern Michigan University's LGBT Resource Center.  She says the tension has been growing since last week.

"I think people are starting to get a little keyed up right now," Larkin said.  "It feels like we're waiting for lottery numbers."