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Michigan Civil Rights Commission: Department Will Continue to Take Complaints of Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

July 23, 2018
Williamsburg, MI--In their meeting today near Traverse City, MI, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission reiterated their support for the interpretive statement they issued on May 21, interpreting the word ‘sex’ in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Commission’s action directed the Michigan Department of Civil Rights – the operational arm of the Commission - to continue investigating complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is an independent, constitutionally created and established body,” said Agustin V. Arbulu, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. “The Commission is not bound by the opinion of the Attorney General. The only recourse is for the courts to determine if issuing the interpretive statement was within the scope of the commission’s authority, and that is the appropriate venue for resolving this issue. Until that time, the Department will continue to carry out the directive of the Commission.”
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