LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared June 2020 Pride Month in Michigan to celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals and recognize the important work that must be done to create a more equitable state for all identities, genders, races, ethnicities and ages.
“This pride month, we are reminded that the beginning of Pride was not a celebration, but a protest to be seen, heard, treated equally, and allowed to live fully and authentically,” Whitmer said. “I know that this year’s Pride is different than the ones before, not only because of COVID-19 but because we are being reminded that, while we have made progress, we still have so much work to do. That means expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect Michiganders based on sexual orientation and gender identity, because in the year 2020, nobody should be fired from their job or evicted from their home based on who they love, or how they identify. If we’re going to attract the talented workforce our businesses need to create jobs and grow our economy, we must continue to make Michigan a state where everyone can come to for opportunity.”
During her very first State of the State Address, Whitmer called on the Legislature 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 service. In her first month in office, Whitmer signed Executive Directive 2019-09 to protect our LGBTQ+ state employees from discrimination in the workplace.
Despite local non-discrimination protections and recent protections extended by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, no state or federal anti-discrimination laws exist to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from being fired, denied housing or refused service.
“More needs to be done to ensure every Michigander can experience equality and freedom from discrimination,” Whitmer said. “We must continue to support the rights of every citizen to experience equality free from discrimination and recognize the continued need for education and awareness to recognize the basic rights of all Michiganders.”
Michigan is home to an estimated 350,000 LGBTQ+ residents.
To view the governor’s proclamation, click here.