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Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission Issues Statement on Vote to Expand Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
March 08, 2023
Lansing, MI – Portia Roberson, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, has issued the following statement in response to the Michigan Legislature voting to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and provide protection against discrimination for the LGBTQ+ community in Michigan.
"This day was long in coming, but today’s vote is still gratifying. For more than 40 years, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has publicly called for the expansion of the state’s signature civil rights law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. For more than 40 years, nothing changed. Then in 2018, the Commission took bold and decisive action, issuing an interpretive statement that the word ‘sex’ in ELCRA includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Commissioners knew legal challenges would follow and they did, further cementing the concept that the LGBTQ+ community should be able to live their lives free from discrimination. Now, these long- sought and hard-fought rights are enshrined in ELCRA, and all Michiganders will reap the benefits of our state becoming a more welcoming place for everyone to live, work and play."
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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