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AG Nessel Celebrates the Expansion of Michigan’s Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act to Protect LGBTQ+ Residents Against Discrimination
March 08, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined Michigan legislators on the state House floor to celebrate the expansion of Michigan’s Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to encompass protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity having been passed through both chambers of the state legislature. The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature to officially enshrine such protections in Michigan law.
ELCRA safeguards the civil rights of Michigan residents to be free from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, public services, housing and educational facilities.
Last July, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Department of Attorney General in Rouch World LLC et al v. Michigan Department of Civil Rights et al, issuing an interpretation of ELCRA which extended its protection to LGBTQ+ individuals. The court ruled that ELCRA’s prohibition against discrimination “because of... sex” also encompassed considerations of sexual orientation and gender identity.
AG Nessel personally argued the Rouch World case to ensure that the discrimination of Michigan residents based on how they identified and who they loved would not be permissible under state law. Today’s legislative expansion of ELCRA codifies the Michigan Supreme Court’s 2022 interpretation in Rouch World, solidifying the protections so that they cannot be easily overturned by a future court.
“This expansion of the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act will provide immediate enhanced dignity for thousands of Michiganders and further codify what was intended with its passage nearly 50 years ago: civil rights for all Michiganders to be free from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, public services, housing and educational facilities,” Nessel said. “As we’ve seen over the past year, it is imperative that in addition to securing these rights through court interpretation as my department was able to do with Rouch World, these rights must also be enshrined in Michigan law to help them withstand future legal attacks. I am proud that Michigan legislators are committed to making this a state that recognizes LGBTQ+ residents’ value, protects their dignity, and welcomes all.”