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Michigan Civil Rights Leaders Commend Effort in State Legislature to Expand ELCRA

LANSING, MI - James E. White, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, have issued the following statements on legislation that would expand the state's signature civil rights law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission:

"In May of 2018, the Commission issued an interpretive statement that protection against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation is covered in the word “sex” in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Our action offered protection from discrimination that LGBTQ individuals in Michigan had not previously known. Now we have the best opportunity in years to expand ELCRA and make the state of Michigan, as Governor Whitmer said today, a model of equality. We urge Michigan lawmakers from both parties to support this important legislation.”

James E. White, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights:

“Adding specific protections for Michigan’s LGBTQ community in the state’s signature civil rights law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, is long overdue. This time, with the leadership of Rep. Laurie Pohutsky and Sen. Jeremy Moss, bipartisan support in both chambers, and the backing of a clear majority of the state’s voters, we are confident Michigan will soon be a state where everyone is welcome and where we recognize and protect the civil rights of all who reside here.”

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

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