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Initiative Seeks to Add LGBTQ Protections to Michigan Civil Rights Law

A petition campaign is underway that seeks to create legislation that would expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity across Michigan.

Created by a group called Fair and Equal Michigan, it has received support from activists, nonprofit organizations and business leaders around the state, listing people like Jerry Norcia, president and CEO of DTE Energy, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and LGBTQ Activist Jim Toy as members of its Honorary Leadership Committee. If the petition receives 340,047 signatures by May 27, the proposed legislation could end up being adopted by the Legislature. If not, it would go on to the Nov. 3 ballot.

Trevor Thomas is co-chair and president of Fair and Equal Michigan. He is also the board chair for the statewide Equality Michigan Action LGBTQ advocacy group.

"Every Michigander should have an equal chance at success, without threat of being fired, harassed, or demoted just because the boss doesn't like that they're gay or transgender," Thomas said in the group's launch announcement. "After waiting 37 years, this effort gives the legislature eight additional months to pass these basic human rights. If they can't get the job done, our Constitution affords Michiganders the right to vote to ensure that workers are judged on the job they do, not who they are or who they love."

This is a developing story.



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