She made history as the first openly gay attorney general in Michigan’s history in 2018, running on a progressive platform of inclusion and a promise to pay special attention to prosecuting those who commit hate crimes. BTL caught up with Nessel while she was still on the campaign trail to get her thoughts on her main focus in the new year. She emphasized that she will be a staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights during her term.
“At a time where the community is under assault, if the worst thing you can say about me is that I’m too aggressive in my efforts to support the LGBTQ community, same-sex couples, their families, etc., then maybe that’s what we need right now. … There’s about a hundred other issues that I think are incredibly important, but if people see me as being incredibly eager and interested and anxious to assist the community in terms of protecting the community then so be it,” Nessel said. “That is who I’m gonna be and I’m not gonna shy away from it. No matter who you are in the community, even if you’re a person who has not seen eye-to-eye with me on how to best proceed in terms of gaining protection, I will always do everything I can to protect the lives of LGBTQ residents in this state.”
However, she made clear that she has experience in various other cases, too.
“I have more experience in practicing criminal law both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney than anyone who’s ever held the office of attorney general,” she said.