Human Rights Campaign Applauds Michigan House for Bipartisan Passage of Civil Rights Law That Guarantees Protections for LGBTQ+ People
This monumental pro-equality legislation in Michigan comes at the same time that HRC is tracking more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures across the country
Lansing, MICHIGAN - March 8, 2023 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - commends the Michigan House 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 64-45 in favor, and now heads to Governor Whitmer's desk for her signature.
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 President Kelley Robinson released the following statement:
"We're seeing history in the making here in Michigan. Extremist legislators tried to fearmonger people into believing a false narrative last fall, but they failed because Michiganders know better. The people of Michigan could not be fooled and they have organized over decades for this moment. ELCRA will not only protect LGBTQ+ people here in Michigan, its passage will send a message across our nation that when we organize - when we come together as a community - we will and do achieve progress. Here at HRC we're so proud to have worked with our partners and allies in Michigan, and we will continue to take this fight to each and every state that tries to deny LGBTQ+ people their rightful place in society. I look forward to Governor Whitmer signing this fundamentally important legislation into law."
Equality Michigan Executive Director Erin Knott released the following statement:
"For LGBTQ+ people, today is a day of triumph and a day of relief. The Michigan House of Representatives sent a loud and clear bipartisan message - LGBTQ+ people are entitled to the same dignity, rights and protections as all Michiganders. Equality Michigan and its predecessors have fought for decades to bring the LGBTQ+ community under the protection of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Generations of courageous community leaders and grassroots organizing created the path forward, and I am proud that today, history has been made."
Last 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.
Since 2018, HRC has had a dedicated field and political team in Michigan working to grow HRC's grassroots army and show political strength in the legislature and at the ballot box. With support from HRC members, we engage with state lawmakers and lobbyists to boost pro-equality legislation and defeat harmful bills, recruit and train volunteers, mobilize constituents to support or oppose legislation in Lansing, and turn out the 1.1 million Equality Voters in Michigan in support of pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.
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.