Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2021
Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist Sign Proclamation Marking June as Pride Month
LANSING, Mich. -- Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist issued a proclamation marking June as Pride Month to recognize the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ Michiganders.
"LGBTQ+ Michiganders are an essential part of who we are, and they make our state a better place to live and work," said Governor Whitmer. "Members of our LGBTQ+ community deserve full protection under the law so they can live their authentic lives. We still have work to do to make Michigan a truly inclusive state and we must expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act because the vaccine for discrimination is legislation. I encourage all Michiganders to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community this Pride Month."
"With more than 370,000 members of the LGBTQ+ community calling Michigan home, LGBTQ+ individuals are our neighbors, relatives, and friends," Lt. Governor Gilchrist said. "We must continue to fight to make sure LGBTQ+ individuals feel safe, valued, and know that their state will invest in their health and potential. Making connections, listening, and understanding the personal stories of LGBTQ+ individuals around you is something every Michigander can do to honor Pride Month. I will continue striving for future generations to see Michigan as a place to be whom they wish, love whom they want, and be proud."
"I'm proud to be the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to statewide office in Michigan and look forward to celebrating Pride Month," Nessel said. "I also hope this proclamation serves as a call to action: We must work year-round to fight for equal protection under the law. I have dedicated myself to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and ask the people of this great state to step up as allies well beyond the month of June. A more inclusive future is dependent upon our collective efforts."
"We have a lot to celebrate as a community, especially a year after the historic Supreme Court ruling last June that upheld federal employment protections for the LGBTQ+ Americans," said Sen. Jeremy Moss. "We must also remember that Pride Month began not as a celebration but as a liberation against decades of harassment, embarrassment and discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community faced. There is work yet to be done and we must amend Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act to include sexual orientation and gender identity among the existing protected classes."
"Pride Month is a time of celebration and reflection. I'm grateful for all that our community has to celebrate, but also acutely aware of the work left to do," said Rep. Laurie Pohutsky. "I'm proud to be fighting to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act alongside Senator Moss in Michigan's legislature and hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle finally recognize that this change is long past due."
"Since day one, Governor Whitmer has been a staunch champion for equality. Her words have been met with real action, including executive action that has protected and improved the lives of LGBTQ+ Michiganders," said Erin Knott, Equality Michigan Executive Director. "Unfortunately, the Michigan legislature is the last place where bias is accepted. For 38 years, the legislature has refused to prohibit discrimination of LGBTQ+ people. Fighting back against discrimination takes tenacity, and strength. I am honored to stand with strong leaders like Governor Whitmer who will hold the line with me, and who will not support a license to discriminate, as all Michiganders deserve to be treated fairly and equally."
June 2021 celebrates Pride Month to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, an event recognized as a catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement. Michigan is home to an estimated 373,000 residents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.
Governor Whitmer called on the Legislature in her first State of the State Address to pass legislation to expand the state's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identification in employment, education, housing, and real estate as well as use of public accommodations and public services. Governor Whitmer was also the first governor to fly the Pride Flag on a State of Michigan building in 2019.
Governor Whitmer also signed Executive Directive 2019-09 to expand protections for LGBTQ+ state employees and has also issued a statement of support regarding the Supreme Court's historic ruling on LGBTQ+ protections, which deemed that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals from discrimination based on sex.
Michigan has been at the forefront of advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ people beginning with the nation's first non-discrimination ordinance passed in 1972 in East Lansing and the nation's first Civil Rights Commission to independently recognize that discrimination "because of sex" includes sexual orientation and gender identity in 2018.
View the full proclamation here.