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AG Nessel Prevails in ELCRA Case

LANSING – The Michigan Supreme Court sided with Attorney General Dana Nessel and affirmed that the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation. 

Nessel issued the following statement in response to the ruling from the Court

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that those of us elected to public office work to preserve and protect the rights of all residents. Today’s ruling confirms what we have long known—that the protections afforded by the ELCRA cover all Michiganders.

“It is also important to recognize that the rights of Michigan’s LGBTQ+ community are based on precedent from court decisions.  And while we were once a nation that respected the value of legal precedent to help preserve our rights, that may no longer be the case.  Now is the time to enshrine our rights in law to ensure no person in this state ever experiences barriers to employment, housing, education, or public accommodations and services because of who they are or whom they love.

“Our residents deserve to live in a state that recognizes the value of diversity and rejects the notion that our own civil rights law could be used as a tool of discrimination. This ruling is not only a victory for the LGBTQ+ community, but for all Michigan residents, and one that’s long overdue.”

The lawsuit, Rouch World LLC et al v Michigan Department of Civil Rights et al, was brought by businesses that denied services to customers who were either a same-sex couple or an individual who was transitioning their gender identity. In October, on behalf of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) and the director of the MDCR, Nessel filed a bypass application in the Michigan Supreme Court. The Michigan Supreme Court agreed the case warranted immediate review and Nessel argued before the Court on March 2.

The October brief can be found on the Department of Attorney General website.