When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed off on officially amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ+ discrimination protections on March 16, her allyship was front and center.
But the occasion also held deep personal significance as Whitmer’s lesbian daughter, Sherry, stood by her side during the bill signing, an experience Gov. Whitmer described as “spectacular” in a recent Pride Source interview.
“As an ally, this is something we’ve been fighting for my whole career,” Whitmer said. “As the mom of a gay woman, it took on an even more impactful, powerful emotion as well. I had tears in my eyes as I thought about what this means for people all across our state and future residents of the state.”
“She was so excited,” Whitmer continued. “It meant a lot to be there with incredible leaders from Mel Larsen to [State Sen.] Jeremy Moss to [State Reps] Jason Hoskins and Emily Dievendorf to having my own child who is an outspoken, thoughtful leader in her own right and a future leader in the state, I hope.”
How it started vs. How it’s going 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️
Expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for the LGBTQ+ community was a long time coming. We’re putting the world on notice that no matter who you love or how you identify there’s a home for you in Michigan. https://t.co/Te68QihzmX pic.twitter.com/8jtoVTtpZd
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 17, 2023
As Pride Source reported last July, the governor’s daughter, Sherry, came out publicly as a lesbian earlier that month during a Washington Post interview with the governor, Sherry and Whitmer’s other daughter, Sydney.
During the interview, which focused on Michigan’s abortion law, Sherry noted that, despite her sexual orientation, she felt compelled to take birth control pills because of the current political climate.
The Washington Post interview marked the first time Sherry publicly came out on her own, though Gov. Whitmer announced at Ferndale Pride in June 2022 that she had a daughter who was a part of the LGBTQ+ community. The governor went a step further at a private brunch for LGBTQ+ supporters following the 2022 Motor City Pride parade where she told the crowd that her “eldest daughter” was a lesbian.