LGBTQ+ civil rights protections on the horizon

New efforts to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act has bipartisan support.

Civil rights protections may be coming to LGBTQ+ people in Michigan in the very near future.

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, passed in 1976, prohibits discrimination based on “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status” when it comes to employment, housing, education, and access to public spaces.

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There are now two separate moves to add gender identity and sexual orientation to that list, and traditional conservative opposition to the move seems to be lessening.

On Monday, state lawmakers and Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced new legislation to make that happen.

“Every step we take toward enshrining protections on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation will impact Michiganders for generations to come.”

Unlike previous moves to enshrine LGBTQ+ rights into law, this legislation has bipartisan support. Republican lawmakers have sponsored bills being presented in the state’s House and Senate.

But legislation isn’t the only way to make it happen. Currently, there is a ballot initiative in the works that would allow Michiganders to vote on the issue. The proposal is expected to go before voters in 2022.

“There is a reckoning coming on this,” said State Senator Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, who sponsored the Senate bill. “We can either pass the ballot proposal as introduced, we could pass the legislation as introduced or we could go to the public. And public support for this far exceeds the leadership of the state Senate or state House of Representatives.”

You can read more on MLive.

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